What makes a good neighbourhood great?

When we first got together to discuss how Shoreline would take shape, we knew that this was an exciting new beginning for the Redlands community. A decade later, the very same foundations still stand; we’re not here to create a faceless suburb, we’re building a neighbourhood with true community values, a new coastal township – shaped by the unique character and endearing charm of the Redlands. That’s why understanding what makes a neighbourhood great, is our greatest priority.

Believe it or not, a great neighbourhood isn’t a vision of perfection, straight lines or cleanliness. It’s a higgledy-piggledy mix of personality that’s defined by quirks and flavours, a hotpot of people from all walks of life and backgrounds that adds character that makes people want to belong to one place over another.

Back when things weren’t so globalised, people spent more time together, shopping at the market square instead of the supermarket 10km away, running into each other at the corner shop or pitching in for the annual community event. However, it’s not a formula you simply cut and paste.

Community spirit is something that’s nurtured through years of genuine care and support. And that takes many forms, whether it’s creating opportunities to bring people together for a common cause, or ensuring that the neighbourhood has plenty of safe and accessible ‘people spaces’ to make it happen naturally.

Take Shoreline for example. From the start, there’ll be a community hub and café, trails, paths and walkways to provide places where people will pass each other daily. Every home will be within strolling distance from neighbourhood parklands, playgrounds and picnic spots. Stories of the land’s history will be retold through public art and a waterpark on the foreshore will bring people closer still. An opening event to cement real pride of place and a market square are just the beginning.

Here are some ideas on what you could do to foster a better sense of community in your neighbourhood:

  1. Start a community garden and share the fruits of your labour
  2. Throw a party in the park (get everyone to bring one dish)
  3. Organise a parent and toddlers play day at the playground
  4. Put together an activity club, such as running or yoga club at the park
  5. Support your local shops and get to know each of their keepers on a first name basis
  6. Create a carpool scheme with your neighbours
  7. Organise a walking bus to school with your neighbours
  8. Form a neighbourhood committee
  9. Work from home in a beautiful environment, in a community connected to the NBN, with the facilities of a business hub, like that planned for the Shoreline town centre.

We hope you’ll join us in creating community, wherever you are.

Chris Barnes