With the likes of the Affordable Housing Scheme in full swing, and the Irish government still confident of delivering 24,600 new homes by the end of the year, urban village developments can provide an excellent sustainable solution to Ireland’s current housing situation.
At Whitebox, we are currently working on Waterford’s latest urban village Summerfields, and are very excited about the prospect of delivering further similar projects across the country.
In this article, we will take a look at what constitutes an urban village and examine the benefits of living in one, as well as a closer look at the aforementioned Summerfields development.
What is an Urban Village?
An urban village is an easily accessible, walkable, bicycle-friendly, multi-purpose village that provides ample housing, transport, and employment opportunities. They are also designed to be environmentally friendly and enhance the quality of life of the residents of a city and its surrounding areas.
These developments hold the potential to transform a city’s neglected and derelict areas into safe and welcoming neighbourhoods.
With that in mind, here are 6 Amazing Benefits of Living in an Urban Village.
6 Amazing Benefits of Living in an Urban Village
1. Community Spirit
Social engagement is often the cornerstone of any urban village. They are designed to encourage a strong level of community spirit and camaraderie among their residents.
Large green areas, shared facilities, and proximity to local amenities such as sporting clubs help to foster human connection.
People are beginning to prioritise community spirit more and more, especially during times of adversity such as the Covid-19 pandemic. 47% of people in Ireland felt that community spirit became more prevalent during the pandemic.
2. Proximity to Amenities
One of the biggest advantages of urban villages is their closeness to community services, businesses, and local amenities. They open the doors to these important services while still being able to offer much sought-after privacy, quietness, and intimacy.
Additionally, these types of developments encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. Whitebox’s Summerfields development, for instance, is within easy cycling distance of Waterford’s Greenway, a 46km cycle and walkway covering the old Suir Valley railway line.
3. Employment Opportunities
Another key selling point of living in an urban village is the employment prospects they can offer.
Being situated in the centre or surrounds of a bustling city allows residents to easily contribute to and benefit from the local economy.
Convenient commutes to work also free up more time for personal and family responsibilities thus, enhancing the work-life balance of residents.
Our Summerfields development is within walking distance to Waterford City’s main educational and employment centres, South East Technological University, and the IDA Industrial Park.
Waterford is at the heart of a growing South East economy. Recent CSO figures show a 13.6% increase in employment in the region.
4. Hassle-Free Commuting
Urban villages are extremely well served by both public and private transport. They are designed to be easily accessible without the need for a car.
The reduction in car reliance that these community developments bring is extremely beneficial to the area they are situated in. It means less traffic congestion and fewer cars emitting greenhouse gases.
With regards to our Summerfields development, the adjacent Outer Ring Road provides a congestion-free link to the city centre. With numerous public transport options on their doorstep, residents will enjoy painless commuting.
What’s more, the National Transport Authority recently revealed a new transport strategy for Waterford that includes further expanding the bus network.
The vast range of house types on offer in an urban village means that there are options to suit everyone. Additionally, the sharing of facilities and pooling of resources will save residents money in the long term.
Summerfields will have a home to suit everyone from single professionals, couples, starting or growing families, and the elderly.
Some of the house types on offer include:
- House Type A2 – 3 Bedrooms, Semi-Detached
- House Type B – 4 Bedrooms
- 1 and 2 Bed Apartments
With the environment coming under increasing pressure, the demand for sustainable homes continues to rise.
The majority of urban villages are developed with sustainability in mind. Additionally, these developments can help us to lessen the development pressure on our beloved open spaces.
The Summerfields development comes with an array of sustainable features as standard:
- Solar PV Roof Panels
- Battery Storage Units
- Air to Water Electrical Heat Pumps
- Heat Recovery Ventilation System
- Electric Charge Points for Two Cars
Sustainability also provides the opportunity to make significant long-term cost savings. Courtesy of Summerfields homes having an exceptional energy rating, a 3-bedroom semi-detached house at this development will be approximately €800 a year cheaper to heat than a similar home built before 2005.
Check out some of the other advantages of owning a sustainable home here.
Are you searching for a forever home that is both high quality and sustainable? Look no further than our upcoming development, Summerfields, located in Kilbarry, Waterford City.