When people say looking for a house is all about location, location, location, they do have a point. The area makes a huge difference in how you enjoy your home. But what is it that makes one area lovely and another soulless? It's the community stupid! That's why we're all about community, community, community.
No investors - just people
People make a community, and for a community to grow the people living there need to take ownership of it.
This can’t happen if the owners of the home don’t live there, so we don’t do buy-to-let or sell our homes to investors in any of our new Places. That means you'll always live with a group of people who have a real stake in their neighbourhood.
It’s bold, it’s brave, but we believe that when people are looking for a place called home they want to know who their neighbours are.
Building a community identity
We think to build a great community it must be given the power to collectively organise. That's why we're creating energy cooperatives to be run by the residents themselves. These can buy power from renewable sources and distribute it to the residents, cutting out energy companies which act as middle men and passing the savings onto our residents.
Walking and cycling aren't just good for the environment, they help create a better sense of community spirit as well. You don't need us to tell you that open green spaces with paths and communal gardens are going to get kids playing and people talking better than busy roads full of exhaust fumes.
That's why always try to encourage people to walk and cycle as much as possible in our developments. That fact we always build in urban locations nearby city centres helps - you don't need to drive a car when work is only a ten-minute walk away. Our biggest project, the climate innovation district is raised up to allow cars to drive underneath. This means a completely roadless landscape of pathways and parks for our residents.
By building public parks, gardens and pedestrian bridges in our Citu developments we can create community spaces where people can relax, play and get to know one another.
Sustainability isn't just about encouraging wildlife and minimising emissions (although that is important), building a sustainable community is crucial too.