Tuesday, 8 July 2008

planning ideas, provide simple social areas/spaces/facilities

We have loads of space really in our estate.
Nice big green area.
Some of it wooded/bushes, lots of grass.
Paths and coming a transformation of old tennis courts into MUGA.
We're very lucky.
Luas is coming very close soon as well.
Very very lucky.

But things could be better with some simple changes.

Everyone with gardens needs to get rid of green waste.
We have a very awkward corner with a pile of clippings/rotting plant material.
An area for green waste would be useful for everyone on any estate with gardens.

Common facilities for recycling and composting can save space needed by every house or apartment.
Garden and allotment space for apartments especially release green-fingered urban dwellers from urban stress for a time.

We're lucky to have an active residents association http://lhra.info
Good contact is maintained with the council (the parks dept, roads, ...).
Meetings are held in people's houses or local pubs.
Equipment is stored in various people's houses and sheds. (Gazebos for outdoor days, soccer goals, tools, ...)
Any estate or apartment complex could easily have communal meeting and storage areas.
As well as residents groups using these it can provide a space for any local games or music or sports or whatever clubs to both meet and to store equipment.

On the continent in Germany some apartment complexes have useful communal areas.
With space for meetings or parties, space for storage and shared facilities - clothes laundring, shared heating systems, ...

Apartment living can especially be more restricted and some communal space can really increase the possibilities people have for doing many activities - whether it be doing some laundry, DIY, holding a toddler or 60th birthday party or simply storing bikes/tents/canoes/...

If we expect some communal space to be provided in housing estates and especially apartment complexes and if we start asking for or demanding the space (are there any empty apartments built unattractively below ground level that are unoccupied and could be converted? :-) :-P) Then we can give ourselves the space and freedom to do many things.

Am I making sense here?
Please tell everyone! :)
If you have opportunity to give input into planning then as a point suggest that communal utility, meeting and storage areas should be provided. Retro-fitting shared facilities is more difficult than having them up front. So consider laundry, heating.

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