Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Check out this video about The Barbican, a London building complex from the 60s and 70s that was inspired by mixed-use community living.
One of the things that stood out to me the most in this video is how the Barbican is described as uninviting and impenetrable, discouraging passersby from coming in. It’s a lot like the gated communities we see here in the GTA, where we close off the residents from the rest of the local community under the guise of ‘safety’. This limited interaction is really a loss I feel, because while it might build a strong sense of community within the building, it also creates a lot of anonymity between building residents and others. This is especially sad considering the Barbican was meant to be a cultural hub.
On the other hand, I really do like the idea of having different types of housing all in one place. As described, there are one and two bedrooms but also three and four bedroom apartments, which you can change into as your family or income grows.
Having an apartment complex thriving with arts and culture would also be great for the residents and community overall. Mixed-use buildings also cut down on our needs to travel, helping to eliminate fossil fuel emissions and bolster the local economy. But most of all I would hope that this type of development would help to bring people together, and create a real sense of neighbourhood that is often unseen these days.
Do you think developments like the Barbican could be the solution to our current housing issues?Let me know in the comments below!
Featured image credit to Rain Rabbit.