Blog • 

More Than Homes, Let’s Look At Communities

The communities we grew up in, are likely to have had a profound impact on our lives. It may be that the memories from our childhood gave us the confidence and strength to succeed or the resilience to face challenges head-on.

Either way, the reality is that the places and spaces we have access to should never be underestimated.

Designing a neighbourhood

Many complex components need to be considered when designing a neighbourhood. Fundamentally, master planning resides in the needs of that community, that town and even that city. Ultimately it is about creating the right infrastructure to ensure that individuals and businesses can live, grow and flourish.

Master Plan Example

The planning process should address challenges and create spaces that enhance the lives of those already living in these locations, making the area more appealing to attract families that will aspire to live, work and socialise in these towns and villages.

There is no quick solution. It is about working collaboratively with the local authority, developers, residents and businesses to get it right. There is no margin for error, and with so many opportunities to trip up, there is a real risk that mistakes could be made that will last a lifetime.

Spaces that inspire change

As an architectural practice with experience in master planning, town planning and residential schemes, at MWA we are only too aware of the impact that great design can have on a community. As well as considering the way a building or scheme looks, we also want to consider its purpose.

It’s also about more than just bricks and mortar. We want to look at the availability of open spaces for children to play, friends and families to meet up and people to walk their dogs or take a stroll in the afternoon.

There is no point in having beautiful houses and infrastructure for a community to flourish if residents simply go home with no opportunity to socialise or engage with one another. It’s about lifestyle and opportunity, freedom and choice, outdoors and indoors.

Promoting a positive outlook

In our experience, when you create incredible places, the impact reaches far beyond those involved in the design of a neighbourhood. It resonates beyond the boundaries of that location. In fact, the benefits can be life-changing to those living inside and out of these communities.

When a neighbourhood planning scheme is carefully considered, it could change the behaviours of those living within these towns and villages. Giving people a reason to appreciate their ‘home’ and take pride in being part of that wider residential ‘family’ means that they are also more likely to look after it.

Finding trusted partners

Collaboration is vital for these projects. Partners must work together to meet a shared objective. Few things are more rewarding than knowing that your experience and input will give people a town or village that they aspire to call their own.

It may be that one area within a town needs redesigning so that it is fit for purpose or modernised to bring it up to date. Alternatively, it may be that buildings need to be designed with sensitivity to consider the surrounding architecture.

There are so many variables when it comes to working on neighbourhood projects. That is what makes them so exciting. As a professional practice, we know how much work goes into ensuring that everything is absolutely right and that starts with the team that is trusted to make it happen.

Serious about the social opportunity

Having worked on projects that have delivered lasting change, we know that master planning can forever change the outlook for a location.

We have much to be proud of in this country and taking the lessons learned from other projects and planning schemes means that we can provide recommendations that go beyond the brief.

We are serious about the social opportunity and about giving people the chance to live in towns and villages that they can enjoy and contribute towards. After all, everyone deserves the chance to create a childhood full of memories in a place they were proud to call home.

It is crucial to identify how best to make use of the natural light by strategically designing the layout of our working environments.

Marcus Walsh

Director