Social infrastructure must be designed into new communities right from the start

Darryl Chen, partner, Hawkins Brown

In a divided world, we need architects’ innovative thinking to create places that bridge social divides, says Darryl Chen

Social infrastructure – like schools, creches, libraries, health centres, pubs, churches, parks, sports grounds and community halls – provides a vital role in holding together the social fabric of communities.

London is one of the most diverse cities on the planet and it is no accident that here we have evolved an incredibly intricate network of social infrastructure. It’s critical to how the city has been able to grow and accommodate difference.

It is intuitive that creating spaces that facilitate social interactions between different types of people can encourage social integration. But planning for better social infrastructure (including preserving and enhancing what already exists) is both simple – and notoriously complex.

This is premium content

Only logged in subscribers have access to it.

Login or Subscribe to view this story

Gated access promo

Existing subscriber? LOGIN or

Subscribe for unlimited access to:

  • Up to the minute architecture news from around the UK
  • Reviews of the latest buildings from all corners of the world
  • Our monthly digital edition including stunning photos, building and technical studies
  • Full access to all our online archives
  • PLUS you will receive a print copy of WA100 when it is published in December.

Subscribe before January 31st to pay our lowest rate.

Alternatively REGISTER for free access on selected stories and sign up for email alerts