How can a community be environmentally and socially inclusive?
Exploring how to achieve a more environmentally and socially sustainable community lies at the heart of Derwenthorpe - a mixed-tenure development with 540 homes on the edge of York.
JRF and JRHT are working together to deliver this concept, and our Investigations summary outlines the main aims of a new research programme to help us and others learn from it.
Broadly, the programme explores three themes focusing around low-carbon homes and sustainable, digitally inclusive communities:
Derwenthorpe is a test-bed for research taking forward the zero-carbon agenda. It is our next step in monitoring the performance of design and construction processes: translating what we have learnt from initiatives such as Elm Tree Mews and Temple Avenue into a large-scale, volume house-building project. Working in partnership with established industry bodies we want to understand how we can deliver new homes with environmental performance that matches their design.
Derwenthorpe provides a real-life setting to observe and evaluate human behaviour and could provide unique insight into understanding how environmental behaviours can be influenced. We propose to commission and deliver a range of behavioural initiatives for households and communities. A detailed study will evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives in changing residents' environmental behaviours.
Derwenthorpe offers an opportunity to explore the impact of ICT literacy and digital exclusion on poverty and social exclusion. Through action research, we want to work with local partners to develop a digital inclusion strategy and help raise levels of ICT literacy. We also want to investigate the role of social media in supporting community development.
The programme commenced in April 2012 and will end in April 2016.