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Report warns village life will need a post-pandemic rethink

A new report has highlighted the urgent need for a rethink amongst planners, developers and local authorities to stop villages of the future becoming unsustainable.

With the impact of the pandemic leading to a 126% increase in people considering properties in village locations, the new report by global architects Broadway Malyan seeks to address the environmental, economic and social issues facing rural communities of the future in the UK.

Taking inspiration from places such as Vauban in Freiburg, Germany, Broadway Malyan sees the ‘village of the future’ as an effective antidote to the housing crisis, creating environmentally, socially, economically and culturally sustainable places for people to live, work and play in England and beyond.

Although set in beautiful environments, many idyllic English country villages are not as environmentally friendly or economically accessible as their city counterparts. Current challenges facing villages are:

  • Expensive properties
  • Lack of employment (due to downturn in local industries)
  • Absence of adequate educational facilities (village school closures)
  • Lack of amenities forcing people to drive to shops, healthcare providers, restaurants etc.
  • Unreliable internet connectivity
  • Non-eco-friendly housing

 

In the last decade, fewer homes have been delivered in the UK than in any period since the Second World War.  The country is currently facing the issue of accounting for consecutively missed housing

targets while hitting the extremely challenging ones that lay ahead, all amid uncertain conditions; the need to create great places for people to live, the mounting pressure of the climate emergency and the aftermath of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Whilst appreciating that there are several ways in which to deliver new housing, Broadway Malyan believes that, if reimagined, new village communities could provide the impetus needed to regain momentum.

‘England’s landscape has been defined by the quintessential country village for hundreds of years, but although pretty and quaint, we cannot ignore that they are no longer fit for purpose economically, socially or environmentally,’ said report author, Jeff Nottage.

‘Our report sets out what we believe will be the key components of a new reimagined village of the future. We want to start a national conversation about the opportunities and significant challenges of realising such a vision and ensure that, beyond the pandemic, we are addressing the housing crisis in logical and sustainable way, creating diverse multicultural, transgenerational and economically diverse communities.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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