Bringing Communities Together

  General news, HPP-Y-GEN


On the 8th of September the HPP-Y-GEN Community engaged into a discussion on how to stay relevant to various stakeholders and what is vital for the industry to be sustainable in the long-term. The recent crisis has led to a major shift of a paradigm from the bottom line and product to inclusive and socially coherent communities. Quoting Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it”. Social values and social investment are becoming more important to real estate investors, developers and the industry as a whole.

Matthew Lesniak (Conscious Coliving) presented empirical evidence supported by case studies showing that social values (well-being, health, happiness, community, inclusivity) can be successfully integrated in the whole chain of investment process. Though measuring social impact has proven to be a difficult task. Matthew demonstrated a range of available tools to measure social impact and shared insights into the proprietary Consious Coliving Impact Metrics. As the investors continue to browse through the universe of those measurement tools, some level of standardization and consistency is important.

From the international perspective into the Dutch context. Joep Albers (social housing corporation De Key) explained the role and evolution of social housing corporations in serving societal needs. Cooperation between the various market participants is important as well setting quantifiable targets (e.g. “Samenwerkingsafspraken 2020 -2023”). But understanding community needs and creating thriving and inclusive communities is equally important. In the project Startblok Rikerhaven De Key went as far as to create a Community Building Manifest. One can challenge its effectiveness but having a clear vision and ambition is already a step in the direction of creating “happy and inclusive” communities.

Lyongo Juliana: “Creating diverse communities is not enough. Communities need to be inclusive.”

How to be aware of your “blind eye spot” was a metaphorical perspective shared by Lyongo Juliana (OZ Architects). Creating diverse communities is not enough. Communities need to be inclusive. Setting up regulations and norms on how to create an inclusive community is not sufficient. The social cohesiveness can be created by understanding the values of different demographic groups considering historical context, cultural values and individual needs is crucial.