Imagine a world where homes were built according to the needs of residents rather than the profits of house builders, a place where land was allocated with the best long-term value in mind, rather than flogged off to the highest bidder, and where politicians’ claims of “creating communities” actually rang true. It might be something like Marmalade Lane in Cambridge, where some innocuous-looking rows of pitch-roofed brick homes represent the quietly radical result of the city’s first co-housing development, almost 20 years in the making. Look closely and you’ll see signs that this is no ordinary developer-driven estate. Where you might usually find parked cars is instead an open, pedestrianised lane where kids’ chalk doodles cover the tarmac, along with a Swingball pole and football goalposts, emphatically claiming the street as a place for play. The back doors of one side of the lane face the front doors of the other – a sinful breach of privacy in any planners’ textbook, while a large swath into which you would have expected more houses to have been squeezed has been left as grassy open space. These are subtle things, but they make it feel like a place where the neighbours might… Read full this story
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