Happy Habitats: where nature and society are at the very heart of the design

“Happy Habitats” is a model that places nature and society at its heart.  The model aims to create an urban community in which people can live, work and play alongside thriving natural systems.  A community that has strong links to its urban and natural surroundings, with a clear identity and heart.

The design process has been considered through three ‘lenses’, which demonstrate the interaction between systems and features of the site and highlights the interactions between biodiversity, ecosystems services, energy and carbon, water, economics and liveability.  These are; Food Production, Livability and Urban Greening.

Urban food production is a balancing act between space availability, substrate provision and access to water and sun-light.  Therefore the “Happy Habitats” model encourages a philosophy of stacking, staggering and multi-tasking to balance and optimise all of these aspects.

Through the lens of Livability the model aspires to give people a sense of pride and belonging, to encourage community involvement and connected them with their environment.  This will ultimately create healthy and happy places to live.

The Urban Greening lens places importance on the utilisation and enhancement of green space and water systems.  By focusing all effort to enhance these two factors the whole functionality and wellbeing of an urban area can be optimised, and habitats are integrated in the process.

Explaining the “Happy Habitats” model from 3 different ‘lenses’ demonstrates how habitats are integrated by the overlapping natural processes and people centric systems.