The importance of neighbourhoods and communities

Back to Neighbourhoods


People spend the largest proportion of their lives in their home, in their neighbourhood.  Both have an enormous impact of how well people live and the resources they consume.

  • Neighbourhood location, local amenities and provision of public transport all determine fuel consumption and time spent in cars. 
  • Design for solar access impacts individual houses’ warmth, light and energy use. 
  • A neighbourhood’s design can mitigate impacts on stormwater, plant and wildlife, and visual amenity. 
  • A well-designed neighbourhood contributes to residents’ health, comfort and enjoyment. 

Designing for safety and walkability, providing local shops, parks and facilities, and creating a sense of community are all hallmarks of a neighbourhood that residents want to live in.

Community is the often forgotten aspect to neighbourhoods which are focused on the built environment.  Yet being part of a community is intrinsic to people’s happiness.   The trend toward community involvement in making decisions about their local area suggests that this is an aspect that could be usefully incorporated into neighbourhood retrofit to improve resident satisfaction and guide planning.


Tools and skills to support communities

Vibrant, engaged and resilient communities are very important.  Beacon is sharing tools and supporting training in facilitation skills to help communities to initiate and lead change in their neighbourhoods.