Sometimes, we need to look backwards to go forwards. Creating communities that work, isn’t about throwing the baby out with the bathwater, it’s about taking the very best of what we used to have, and combining it with the best of what we’ve become. Just as few would aspire to live in a society without technology and the advantages it offers, why would anyone want to be free of the sense of community and neighbourly kindness that existed in so many communities, when people lived more static lives?
We used to know each other, and would live in the same home for years on end – our neighbours becoming an extension of our family and inner circle. We trusted them, and could rely on them in times of struggle. We knew our children were safe with them and through open gates, open doors and shouts through open windows, neighbourhoods were safer, friendly and somehow, more alive.
That neighbourhood, is humans in their natural state. We want to be around others who care about us, and who give us the opportunity to care about them in return. When we go to sleep at night, we want to know that if one of the neighbours hears a strange noise, they will do something about it and not just roll over, and tell themselves they didn’t hear anything. The only thing that’s changed, is us – and we didn’t want to. As the world around us evolved, we were forced from our neighbourhoods and into unfamiliar territory – we did it for all the right reasons, but that doesn’t make it the right thing.
Now, to many, a return to the old neighbourhood seems unlikely. Housing prices have reached the level of lunacy, there is no longer any intention around neighbourhood planning beyond tennis court allocation or rules for well manicured lawns and knocking on your neighbour’s door to introduce yourself is a tradition long passed.
The answer isn’t adding anything; improvement lies in simplifying. The new neighbourhood, will have more room to play, and less space to dine. It will have a smaller footprint, but a big impact – more greenery and more freedom to move outside of four walls.
Through using less, we can combine everything that is wonderful about today, with everything we thought was lost to time, but is about to be rediscovered. Big World Homes communities are places you’ll want to visit, and that you’ll miss once you’ve left. They are the stories you will tell your children about when you’re older, and most importantly, they will remind society what’s important – people living together in harmony, both with themselves and the environment.