People, Place and Community: belonging in unprecedented times

People, place and community: belonging in unprecedented times

Covid-19 has undoubtedly thrown a spotlight on the power of social and neighbourhood networks. It has changed how people experience both private and public places and, for some, has meant spending a lot more time locally than usual.

Throughout the pandemic community life has flourished: neighbours are checking in on each other more than before, and are now more likely to do food shopping or other chores for each other. It seems that Covid-19 has triggered an increased appetite for connection, a sense of belonging, and a desire for mutual trust amongst neighbours. Beyond just surviving the pandemic, the benefits of community are clear: social connection can help you live a longer, happier life. By contrast, loneliness and isolation – which can be experienced by Londoners of all ages – has a detrimental impact on health and wellbeing. As Covid-19 continues to shape the way we live and work in the city, inclusion, health and wellbeing are (finally) receiving greater recognition.

Future of London’s 2020 project investigated the role that both people and place play in creating community, and how London’s built environment sector can help forge and maintain a sense of belonging in both new developments and within existing neighbourhoods.


Report launch: Building community in unprecedented times
Final report launch exploring the project’s key topics, providing insights and a set of practical recommendations for urban professionals across all sectors.
Write up and event video here

How to build connection – when we are all two metres apart podcast
Bethan Harris (Loneliness Lab) and Stephanie Goldberg (GLA) discuss lessons from lockdown for the built environment sector.
Listen here

Spaces, Places & Sociality webinar
We explore the influence that planning, design and development of the built environment can have in fostering community connections.
Write up and event video here

Community, connection and Covid-19
A series of case studies exploring different approaches to building community – and how these have fared during the pandemic.


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