MONTHLY BAROMETER – WELLNESS EDITION
For all the talk about technology and how it risks making our lives lonelier, there are also many initiatives that focus on measures and policies susceptible to creating a more connected and friendly community life.
Psychologists and social scientists contend that three conditions are necessary to form close bonds and real friendships: (1) proximity, (2) repeated unplanned interactions, and (3) environments that encourage people to trust each other and to confide in each other.
With this in mind, the current trend in real estate and community design is to counter the many projects that “gate” a homogeneous community—such as retirees—behind closed doors by redesigning the physical space in a way that favors interactivity. Gated communities tend to exacerbate the growing generational and social divide that besets many rich countries and, therefore, fail to improve wellbeing at the societal level.
By contrast, mixing communities promotes sociability and instills a sense of “new life” for elderly people. Multigenerational home-sharing or co-locating care homes with nurseries and schools is becoming an instrument of choice for creating a more connected and friendly community life.
It’s a trend to watch…
4 thoughts on “The Future Is Social, Multigenerational – Not “Gated” – Communities”
This is truly essential. Villages share this feature, communities built around Best schools or golf clubs don’t seem to. With smaller families, elders have to relinquish the notion of “my family” in favor of making new friends across age pickets. May have been one of the worst of the New Deals after the 1930s Great Depression.
It really concerns me that the trend for almost warehouses for the elderly and trendy urban areas for the young and upwardly mobile will divide and not create the necessary connections for a cohesive society that understands the needs of the others whom we never interact with. They can only exasperated the breakdown of family values and inter generational relationships which can shape the future by learning from those who lived their lives in the past and still hold hopes for future generations
I agree with your three conditions for well-being: “Psychologists and social scientists contend that three conditions are necessary to form close bonds and real friendships: (1) proximity, (2) repeated unplanned interactions, and (3) environments that encourage people to trust each other and to confide in each other.” Do you have particular sources for this statement? I”d be interested in reading more…