Encountering the multiplicity of community in planning and designing new neighbourhoods

Cecily Maller, Larissa Nicholls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In contrast to recent understandings of community beyond place, urban partnerships of developers and policymakers focus on creating place-based communities in new neighbourhoods such as master-planned housing estates. These efforts are critiqued for ignoring the multiple ways community is experienced in everyday life as physical places take precedence over social relations and processes. Drawing on the example of a master-planned community (MPC) in Australia, this article explores some of the complexities involved in attempting to create community in these and other new neighbourhoods by comparing conceptualisations of community depicted in marketing materials with future residents' expectations and lived experience. Although some notions of community portrayed in the marketing of the estate resonated with future residents' expectations, their everyday experiences of community were broad and varied, and not confined to one particular place. In concluding, the article suggests there is greater scope for the multiplicity of community to be incorporated in the planning and design of MPCs. Specifically, policymakers could make more of partnerships with developers to advocate for the acknowledgement and inclusion of broader experiences of community in everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalUrban Policy and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Community
  • everyday life
  • master-planned communities
  • place
  • social relationships

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