A sense of community can often feel distant in today’s society as an increasing number of people live nomadic lifestyles, work remotely and live alone. We are ever more connected digitally but somehow feel a lack of opportunity to connect with like-minded people in real life. Brands and businesses that bring individuals together to create new communities around shared interests, values and lifestyles will be most appealing in the coming years.
In the final part of our insight report into the next wave of F&B spaces, we look at how the concept of ‘community hubs’ could be expanded upon in future developments.
Part IV: Collective Communities
The success, to date, of the food hall concept can, in part, be associated with the social hubs that many have become; flexible, casual spaces with communal seating and shared dishes catering for a variety of tastes and diets. Perfect places for groups of friends and families to socialise and feel part of a wider community.
We see the most directional new developments taking the concept of ‘community hub’ even further, becoming mixed use developments bringing together a blend of art and culture, spaces to play, live, socialise, work, eat and shop. These are holistically lifestyle focused allowing people to engage on a more human level.
Examples to Inspire - The Collective: Community focus in mixed use developments
The Collective developments are designed to bring people together, ‘fiercely passionate about creating happy, inspired communities’. They include private living spaces and shared amenities; bars and restaurants, gyms, cinemas and co-workspaces. The Collective’s North London development, The Collective Old Oak can be home to 500 people. Members of the community are encouraged to take part in and even run events including live music, coding classes and film nights.
Made by We, New York City: Community hubs over offices
‘Made by We’ is a new concept from the WeCompany (the company behind WeWork) offering co-work facilities with a community focus. With the aim of supporting businesses within the community, the space includes retail opportunities for members to sell items they produce including fashion and travel goods. Described by the We Company as a ‘new town square’ the space also features a café that’s open to the public.
New Balance: Nice community hubs created by brands
New Balance have opened their first pub, ‘The Runaway’. Customers pay for drinks with the miles they’ve run and logged through social tracking app Strava, created to support runners training for upcoming marathons. The upstairs features a full bar, while downstairs runners can use the gym to complement their training.
Download the full report here