By Jenny Cooper
Creating vibrant and thriving communities goes beyond constructing buildings; it involves putting people at the heart of placemaking. The essence of a neighbourhood lies not just in the built environment, but in the connections and relationships among its residents. So, bringing communities together plays a crucial role in building strong and cohesive communities, and creating places where families thrive and people want to live.
Community socials provide an excellent opportunity for residents to come together, connect, and develop meaningful relationships. Whether it’s a Street Party, Summer Fair, or an Emergency Services day, community events break down barriers, promote unity, and create a sense of togetherness. They bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds and demographics, providing a platform to build a strong community and help to forge relationships and banish loneliness.
On an estate regeneration project during the winter, we showed how even a low-key event can make a difference. On the day we hosted a stall with free biscuits and hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course), where residents could come and talk to us about the plans for their homes, as well as socialise with their neighbours. Not only did it give the residents a chance to engage and ask questions, it made them feel valued and involved.
Recently, we held a Family Fun Day at a development in Oxfordshire with live music, ice cream, face painting and games, and combined this with a chance to comment on plans for a new community building, allotments and play areas. This meant that we were able to generate genuine community engagement from hundreds of residents who were unlikely to attend a formal public consultation. It gave local community groups a chance to exhibit at the event such as Parkrun and local youth groups, so was a great step in creating community cohesion between new and existing residents.
Developers have a unique opportunity to create not just buildings but strong and prosperous communities. By incorporating community events into new developments, developers foster a sense of belonging, unity, and empowerment among residents. These events enhance safety, support the local economy, and promote overall well-being.
At Cratus, our dedicated Communities team specialises in tailoring events to meet the specific needs and interests of residents. We understand the dynamics of neighbourhoods and employ inclusive community engagement strategies to ensure enjoyable and inclusive events. From initial concept development to logistics coordination and promotion, we handle every aspect of event planning, allowing developers to focus on their core responsibilities.
We also recognise the importance of effective communication and stakeholder engagement.
The Communities team can help developers build positive relationships with residents, local authorities, and community organisations, ensuring local support for the events. By fostering collaboration and open dialogue, we create a strong foundation for community involvement and participation.
If you would like to find out more, get in touch with Jenny Cooper, Account Director for Communities.
3rd August 2023