Mixed use developments evolving to satisfy shifting British demographic needs

Created: 26 May 2022

Demographic shifts in the UK population have heightened the prioritisation of community, placemaking, and transport connectivity in  the selection of homes amongst renters and house buyers. Mixed use developments are increasingly incorporating health and sustainability into design, positioning, and specifications of their inventory at the cutting edge of these home buyers’ evolving expectations.

The latest UK census, undertaken once a decade, is due to publish results this summer with projections estimating that the UK population of 66 million in 2017 is still on track to grow to 73 million in 2041. This is a populace that lives far longer, is postponing marriage and children till later in life, and has been deeply affected by the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. 

As of 2016, two-person and one-person homes represented 35 per cent and 28 per cent of households respectively in the UK, according to ONS data. With loneliness on the rise, 40 per cent of 16-24 year-olds are likely to feel lonely often or always for instance. Research reveals the internal connectivity of residential developments is valued by both residents and city governments that increasingly incorporate social impact in planning evaluations. 

Studies show increases in social interactions are facilitated by mixed-tenure communal spaces, which balance privacy with inclusivity. Placemaking through well connected and pedestrianised infrastructure, sustainable architecture, and environmental credentials heighten the health and wellbeing of these residential settings. 

This regenerative effect is transforming towns across the country like Luton, which are  receiving major investment, as recognized by the latest “levelling up” investment of £20m as part of the Lu2on 2040 Vision. The Lu2on mixed-use volume housing scheme, a unique off-plan development, is at the centrepiece of this transformation project.

As part of major economic and infrastructure developments to the area, Lu2on is located close to Luton’s 395-acre Enterprise Zone, including the £200million Luton ‘Direct Air to Rail Transit (DART)’ driverless rail shuttle (located opposite the LU2ON development), the transformation of The Mall shopping centre and the Luton Cultural Quarter

The Government has also confirmed it will inject up to £8 million towards the new “Cycling Made E-asy” programme to accelerate the uptake of e-cycles by offering short and long-term loans of e-cycles. The pilot scheme, which will be delivered by Cycling UK and launched earlier this week in Greater Manchester and is set to be rolled out in Sheffield, Hull, Leicester, Luton and Dunstable.”