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 we experience both private and public space 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 will investigate the role that both people and place play in creating community, and we will explore how London’s built environment sector can help forge and maintain a sense of belonging in both new developments and within existing neighbourhoods.

Get involved

We’d like to connect with organisations, or tenants, who have experienced a shift in community life as a result of Covid-19. We are keen to understand the human-factors which facilitate connection, as well as the place-based factors which help build social connection. If you have an experience to share or are interested in partnering with us on this project, contact Anna Odedun.

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