Webinar: Net Zero and Community Led Housing

Event summary

Despite the benefits of community-led housing, the sector in the UK remains small compared to other countries in Europe and North America, currently delivering less than 0.3% of total housing output.

Past government initiatives have sought to increase uptake, but the original £163m Community Housing Fund closed at the end of 2019 with only a fraction allocated. However, a new £4 million programme launched in 2021, managed by the Community Led Homes (CLH) partnership, will see more than 1,200 new affordable homes delivered across the UK.

How does the community led housing mission align with the net zero agenda? We’ll hear from organisations pushing the boundaries in terms of both community and low energy aspirations.

Report Research findings

Refreshing the Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth

URBED were asked to advise on how greater cohesion or social inclusion could be achieved in future developments, by considering the current principles in the light of published research and international best practice, and this took the form of a separate report on Creating Cohesive Communities.

They also were asked to make recommendations on assessing performance, and have considered the options for evaluating the quality of what has been built. This report summarises the conclusions and the evidence is set out in five appendices.

Author: URBED

Publication date: January 2019



The Housing Design Handbook: A guide to good practice

Everyone deserves a decent and affordable home, a truth (almost) universally acknowledged. But housing in the UK has been in a state of crisis for decades, with too few homes built, too often of dubious quality, and costing too much to buy, rent or inhabit. It doesn’t have to be like this. Bringing together a wealth of experience from a wide range of housing experts, this completely revised edition of The Housing Design Handbook provides an authoritative, comprehensive and systematic guide to best practice in what is perhaps the most contentious and complex field of architectural design.

This book sets out design principles for all the essential components of successful housing design – including placemaking, typologies and density, internal and external space, privacy, security, tenure, and community engagement – illustrated with case studies of schemes by architecture practices working across the UK and continental Europe.

Written by David Levitt and Jo McCafferty – two recognised authorities in the field – and with contributions from more than twenty other leading practitioners, The Housing Design Handbook is an essential reference for professionals and students in architecture and design as well as for government bodies, housing associations and other agencies involved in housing.

Read a teaser for the book here.

Author: David Levitt, Jo McCafferty

Publication date: October 2018



Housing Design for Community Life

This report presents data about how people are using external spaces in residential areas on recently completed schemes in England. Inspired by the work of Jan Gehl Architects, it is a study of numbers of people, their activities and the time they spend outside as an indicator of what Gehl calls ‘life between buildings’. It presents new maps that show access to external spaces in relation to dwellings and the streets in between and reaches the conclusion that the layout of a development may have a significant impact on how well spaces are used.

It incorporates theories of child development, play and children’s independent mobility, in part to quantify some of the health and wellbeing concerns that need to be addressed, but fundamentally to highlight the value of children’s use of external spaces: both for their own bene t and as the generators of community life. The report reveals the social nature of these spaces, the importance for children and the challenges for other age groups, while also highlighting the damage that anti- social parking behaviour can have on otherwise well designed schemes.

“The report’s work in trying to understand how we use public space cannot be ignored. It is a vital manifesto for new planning policy and a cultural shift in our obligations towards people and the new communities we are creating.”

David Montague, Chair of G15 and Chief Executive, L&Q

Author: Dinah Bornat, University of East London/ZCD Architects

Publication date: November 2016