A sustainable community? Life at Derwenthorpe 2012 – 2015

Document type
Quilgars, Deborah; Dyke, Alison; Tunstall, Rebecca
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Date of publication
25 January 2016
Community Development and Regeneration, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This research project evaluates early resident experiences of creating a socially and environmentally sustainable community at Derwenthorpe.

It has been developed by the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust in partnership with David Wilson Homes as an urban extension of over 500 new homes in York, and is due for completion in 2018.

Researchers found that:

  • Using energy efficiency standards, Derwenthorpe residents showed lower than average carbon footprints in their homes compared with national survey respondents.
  • Nine out of ten residents were satisfied with their homes, matching national satisfaction levels for owner occupiers, but exceeding those for social renters.
  • A significant early achievement has been the high level of community activity and involvement. Residents’ level of connectedness was very high; on average, households cited eight other residents as friends.
  • Challenges were evident, including how to support residents to make best use of energy-efficiency measures.

Although zero carbon policies have been abandoned nationally, it is clear that housing providers can reduce residents’ overall carbon footprints substantially by building to higher environmental standards.

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