Places for People has launched a new design guide in conjunction with global engineering and design consultancy Arup. The What makes great places for people? guide sets the scene for future communities – especially in a post-Covid world.

David Cowans

David Cowans

The way that people live is fundamentally changing. Before the pandemic, the demographic make-up of the UK was evolving. The population is projected to grow to 73 million by 2041, while the number of people in the 65-plus age bracket is projected to rise from 18% to 26% of the total population.

Developers and placemakers cannot ignore how differently people now live and how that will change in the future. There are environmental considerations and commitment to zero-carbon communities; societal trends that allow people to live and work differently in their homes; and the simple changing demographic of households.

The guide addresses this by creating mixed-use and mixed-tenure places that lay the foundation for social cohesion, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. It is based on six key principles, each of which address how new neighbourhoods should be shaped.

London market

London market

Source: Shutterstock / Paolo Paradiso

The principles are intended to be universal, inclusive and relevant to all people, irrespective of their age, gender, background, family structure or socioeconomic status.

The guide has been cross-referenced against recently published government papers including ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’, MHCLG’s National Design Guide and the National Model Design Code. It is hoped that it will now form a basis for future communities.

David Cowans is group chief executive of Places for People