Social connection for better buildings
A socially connected building is more than just a nice-to-have: it can help facilitate good decision making, get projects off the ground, improve security and more.
So how do you create an apartment community? A groups of apartment owners, renters and managers set out to investigate that question in a workshop at the 2016 High Life Expo.
Idea: You're welcome
One group who participated in the workshop identified that all residents need to know the local etiquette. They realised people needed to be inducted into the building and gain insights in to how to live together.
To achieve this they wanted to:
Create a welcome booklet that included key contact details, building basics, building rules and etiquette and useful local info (cafes, libraries etc)
Connect new residents with a long-time resident who would take the newcomer for coffee to make sure they felt welcomed and informed.
Set up a resident mailing list to keep everyone in-the-know about local happenings inside and outside the building.
The group identified that for a building to function smoothly and to create an enjoyable environment, it was important to involve everyone. Their advice: Don't assume that renters don't care!
Other ideas they came up with included a Pimms, lemonade and tennis evening, expert information sessions, cocktail parties, informal BBQs and wine tastings.
More ideas and examples:
Towers of support: Melbourne's Regency Towers have a local residents collective who help care for the building and each other.
Online connection platforms (like MyCoop) for apartment buildings are starting to pop up.
Create a street or foyer library to share books locally.
Try Timebanking, a community program that allows the voluntary exchange of services between members.
Embrace Neighbour Day each March.
Start a babysitting club in your building.
Host a movie night.
The group identified that all kinds of issues are impacted by social connection or isolation felt by those who owned or rented in the building, including:
- Transient population
- Built environment
- Safety & security
- Local knowledge
- Cultural diversity
- Social networks
- Amenity & access
- Health & wellbeing
Got a good example?
If your apartment building has developed a good social culture we'd love to hear about it. Email your stroy to [email protected].