Elise Teperman

Neighbourliness: The Social Life Between Buildings

The project approaches site as a case study to examine the impact of the planning scheme on interaction between residents in the neighbourhood built environment. In other words, site is used as a lab for testing and developing design tools that could ultimately be adopted by council at a strategic level in the hopes of creating neighbourhoods that allow or perhaps even encourage encounter and hopefully engagement between residents.

Historically, neighbourhoods were places of social cohesion in which a sense of community was formed. Industrialisation however, led to significant changes in the built environment and social fabric of society. The loss of pedestrian-oriented environments impacted community patterns and led to the deterioration of meaningful relationships. This loss of “neighbourliness” has had an adverse impact on our psychological well-being.

Urban planning methods often fail to identify the human scale of encounter. This is because the neighbourhood scale of analysis generalises the differences, lacking the sensitivity of measurement required. By bringing the sensibility and techniques of interior design new possibilities emerge, moving from the abstract scale of the urban plan to the human scale of encounter.