The key to the good life isn’t waiting in the countryside or in the city. In fact, the quality of life is at its finest when the two settings are blended together. The urban village has been the dream for a while now. Think of a place where you’re never far away from interaction, the services on offer make your life easier, and there is plenty of housing for everyone.
We’ve all heard that famous African proverb – it takes a village to raise a child. But what about the fact that more and more of us are moving to towns and cities? As it turns out, people living in an urban setting depend hugely on social interaction too. And it has a major impact on their attitude to life. It has even been proven that the amount and quality of social contact influences our sense of well-being quite considerably. As far back as the early 1960s, Jane Jacobs, an architectural scholar from New York, wrote in her book called “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” that everyday activities and interactions can build up a network in a diverse neighborhood like Greenwich Village. She referred to priceless “social capital” in this context. For perhaps too long now, urban and rural settings have been understood as opposites within the fields of architecture and urban development. It’s the contrast between not a lot happening and the population density getting out of hand.
Imagine another type of location that works a little differently… A place where people know and greet
each other. Where residents can benefit from the community and have access to everything they need in
day-to-day life close by. A place where everyone still has their own space and there is actually room for everyone.
Where residents can gaze out of large windows onto a buzzing courtyard. Here, part of the circular roofscape surrounding the courtyard is left open for people to use. The roofs are also home to vegetable gardens, and wind and solar systems that generate energy. The integrated commercial spaces are home to health services, arts and cultural offerings, retailers, and restaurants and cafés. Then there are more open areas and community spaces used by neighbors of all ages. Health and relaxation needs are catered to by all the sports and recreation on offer as well as the maximum amount of green space. And there are pros on hand to take care of the kids’ education.
It’s not about just living somewhere. We need to be thinking about our quality of life. Novel living solutions that cleverly combine logical neighborhood development with architecture designed for living, and innovative technology and services could be used to gradually build a city where life can flourish and thrive. The result would be an urban village. This could well be the future of city living. What a wonderful fantasy that we hope will one day become reality!
Interested in finding out more about this new style of neighborhood development? Fancy working with us to build a village like this? Get in touch >>>