Cultivating Connections through ‘Hey Neighbour!’ and Social Sustainability Strategies

On Jan 14, 2020 under Rental Apartments,Sustainability
In 2018 the City of Vancouver-sponsored program ‘Hey Neighbour!’ was introduced as a one-year pilot program in Concert’s Remington rental building (shown above) within the Collingwood Village community.
 
The program was designed to build connection and community among residents as well as highlight the positive impact that increased sociability can have on mental and physical health and the role that residents, municipalities and the housing industry can play in cultivating these connections, specifically within multi-family housing.
 
The initiative reflects a fulsome definition of sustainability that includes economic, environmental and social sustainability that is central to Concert’s recently launched 2019 Sustainability Framework. Our goal is to build resilient, connected communities; this means making thoughtful changes not just to building design, but also to our property management practices and building-level programming.
 
The initial goal of the ‘Hey Neighbour!’ pilot program at the Remington was to build the capacity of community and to create a grassroots network of residents that know and help each other. The pilot-program was deemed successful overall, improving social connectedness, engagement and tenant satisfaction. As we continue the program, the approach will be to support residents in leading the programming.
 
“We are expanding our social sustainability approach and will work to connect residents and provide programming that improves quality of life,” says Dave Ramslie, Vice President, Sustainability. “Good design can only take us so far and we need good programming and management that encourages residents to get to know each other.” Concert will be expanding this kind of social programming throughout all our residential properties in the coming years, one of the strategies outlined in the Sustainability Framework.
 
“Building community and connection is something we always strive to do at Concert,” says Bev Greene, Senior Vice President, Property Management. “We look forward to future initiatives to help residents connect and create a stronger community that benefits everyone.”
 
The positive work that our Property Management team have been doing in partnership with the City of Vancouver was recently highlighted in this Globe and Mail article featuring one of our Collingwood Village residents and ‘Hey Neighbour!’ volunteers.

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