As the Communications Manager of Nightingale Housing, my main job was communicating our mission. I did this in a variety of ways, but the most effective was in our regular newsletters. Here are a couple of my intros.
September 2017: How do you create shared spaces that work?
How do you build communal spaces that actually build community? The key to creating communal spaces that are, well, truly communal, is to make them practical; a communal laundry, shared bike parking, productive gardens that you need to use. After all, it’s hard not to have a friendly chat when you're washing your clothes next to your neighbour.
But washing your clothes, hanging them on the rooftop clothes-line and then talking to your neighbour isn't just about creating community and social wellbeing. These practical spaces serve a further purpose – they mean less energy and fewer resources are used per resident, which is better for the environment and creates long-term savings for everyone in the Nightingalebuilding.
As we move into a future where wage growth isn't assured and energy prices seem to be rapidly rising, could sharing energy and energy costs be the new sign of being good neighbours?
We were chuffed to read about the Nightingale model's power of neighbours and community in Fairfax's Good Weekend a few weeks ago. If you haven't seen it, the article is online here.
July 2017: It's about community, not just activation
Where do you go when you need some space? Maybe you head to your local library, park, or a cafe where you know you'll get a friendly welcome, free wifi and a great coffee.
This cafe could be anywhere – the street corner, part of an office complex, or at the bottom of your apartment building. These spaces, along with other places where people come together in the built environment, make up what's known as the third place; somewhere apart from work and home where you can gather and linger, that becomes a part of the civic area. These spaces have been proven to add to community well-being – and they also welcome people into new buildings, rather than shutting them out by having apartments on street level.
Third spaces are an essential part of the Nightingale model; all of our buildings will feature them in some iteration. For us, it's not about short-term activation to increase market value. It's about long-term community – both the new community of the building and the existing community around the building.
As Nightingale 1 nears completion, our residents aren't the only ones preparing themselves to move in. We also have three ground-floor tenancies: an architecture studio, a social enterprise office and co-working space, and a new cafe called Home One, the first permanent space for Coffee for Change. Coffee for Change is a not-for-profit that puts their profits towards ending youth homelessness and aims to employ young people who have been through the STREAT program.
We're excited to see Home One move in and provide a valuable third space for the whole community.