From villages to industrial towns, exurbs to eco-districts, the forms our neighbourhoods take are in a constant state of change. Influenced by the rise of new technology, shifting preferences, broader socioeconomic factors and more, our neighbourhoods provide a great deal of insight into a society’s preeminent hopes, fears and technologies at a specific time. So what could the next generation of leading edge neighbourhoods look like? Fast Company identified five positive concepts that could shape the neighbourhoods of the future. Key themes are:
Near self-sufficiency: De-centralized energy generation, on-site waste and water management, and local food production are not new concepts, but combining them with modern comforts in a scalable form would be.
Faster and better affordable housing: IKEA-style assembly and tiny homes offer several relatively inexpensive solutions to one of today’s biggest challenges. By involving residents in the building process, and offering training and diplomas, the benefits could extend beyond stable shelter.
More urban (and suburban) farming: We build neighbourhoods around industry, transit and waterfronts, why not farms? The first recognized sustainable “agri-hood” was recently inaugurated in Davis, California. The spread of such neighbourhoods would be a key step towards food security and holistic sustainable food production.
Make better use of space: From New York’s Low Line to Toronto’s Under Gardiner this concept is already being put to action in a range of settings. And why not? As dense environments become more appealing (and valuable), it is vital to make the most of every parcel of land.
Greener and cooler: From human health to climate change, cities are waking up to the many benefits of urban greenery. A commitment to adding greenery to the public realm could help to naturally cool our urban environments.