Kinship in the City: urban loneliness and the built environment Before the onset of COVID-19, awareness around the issue of loneliness was rising globally as people became attuned to its impact, particularly on city dwellers. Stark statistics revealed that loneliness can increase someone’s risk of premature death by 30% and that more than 9 million adults in the UK are either always or often lonely.

In this event, we will hear from the Future Spaces Foundation on the role the built environment plays in facilitating social cohesion. The physical backdrop to our lives has a huge effect on how unified or isolated we feel day to day, and particularly in light of the pandemic. It’s crucial that we reckon with the confluence of urban factors that erode opportunities for social cohesion and put city dwellers at particular risk of loneliness.

How can we shape the physical spaces around us to improve human connections?

Sara Veale, Managing Editor of the Future Spaces Foundation, will outline the Foundation’s research into urban loneliness, presenting ideas for reshaping our cities’ infrastructure to improve social cohesion. The insights and recommendations from the 2019 report Kinship in the City features contributions from charities, psychologists, designers and individuals who have been affected by loneliness.

It’s an opportunity to explore the power cities have to lift us up, promoting unity and kinship through considered design, policy and social enterprise.

Speaker: Sara Veale, Managing Editor at the Future Spaces Foundation

About the Future Spaces Foundation

The Future Spaces Foundation was established in 2013 by Ken Shuttleworth as the research and development arm of Make Architects. Its aim is to generate new thinking and research to inform the design of the spaces we inhabit.

The research conducted by the Foundation explores the socio-economic, demographic and technological factors that affect the way we interact and operate as individuals and communities, and explores how we can shape the towns and cities of the future.

The work the Future Spaces Foundation has undertaken thus far has provided insights and recommendations to help create vital cities. Cities that are enriched, vibrant and diverse places and where people want to live, work and move around in the healthiest, happiest and most sustainable way possible.