The places where we live, work and play deeply impact our health and wellbeing. Planning and design decisions are important, as the built environment influences how we move around a city, facilitates social interactions, and shapes our experience of a venue or neighbourhood. Us Victorians already benefit from our stunning natural surroundings. Nature is good for us. However, our urban environment is equally important to our health and wellbeing. Good design and interesting streetscapes can improve the walkability or bikeability of our city, enabling people to leave their cars at home; proper planning can also create spaces that engender a sense of community. Delicious local food provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our region and gather together to share a meal, fostering connection and belonging.
In short: Urban Spaces Matter.
At Fort Properties, we seek to create Space That Contributes. We believe that lovingly designed cities can be good for you and for our community. That’s why we focus on creating spaces that support a comprehensive and multifaceted vision of health and well-being.
We aim to make spaces that:
- foster social interaction by providing gathering places;
- make healthy choices easy by making stairways more beautiful than elevators;
- support the local economy by having a diverse array of community-minded tenants;
- celebrate food and the power that sharing food has to bring us together;
- promote alternative transportation through accessible design and bicycle lock-up/storage facilities;
- support our local business people so that their talent has a place to shine; and
- give people pleasure in their daily lives by making the spaces they spend time in beautiful.
Design should not be an afterthought to development. Having bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly spaces gives people the ability to walk or bike to work, improving their health and the environment at the same time. Curating the right tenant mix in our buildings profits both businesses and their patrons. We want those businesses to succeed (businesses are people, too!) and they are more likely to if there is a demand for their services. So let’s listen more than talk. Let’s ask people about their lives and find out what they would like to see happening in their neighbourhoods. And then, while we’re at it, let’s make those spaces creative, diverse and beautiful.
Collaboration is integral to our process. There’s so much to be gained by connecting with each other, and by sharing resources. Victoria is in a really exciting stage of change and growth, and we feel blessed to have the opportunity to help it reach its full potential as a vibrant, dynamic city.
As developers and residents in this beautiful region, we’re cultivating something that is much more satisfying than just serving one bottom line: we’re looking to be a part of the long-term well-being of our hometown.
Photos by Kelly Brown