While there is an ever-growing need for more affordable housing as the income gap grows, a few projects have begun to address social housing outside of a vacuum.  There are now great examples of integrated communities where the needs of the residents are served by a mixed use development catering to residents, but some projects have begun to bridge further beyond even these good examples.  

In New York, David Adjaye's Sugar Hill project combines cultural resources for the city with education and housing to create a self-sustaining community that enriches all that enter it's doors.  For me, there is an important recognition of social equality in this project that not only provides a nice place for people that need the extra help, it makes their home integrally connected to the cultural realm of the city through the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

It's great to think holistically about how to create social housing and an accompanying community that provides relevant services for residents, but often these communities remain a step apart from some of the public cultural resources that provide enrichment.  It's encouraging to see a project bridge this gap and show that a city's public resources are for everyone and to see more social housing developments being thought of as viable components of creative mixed use projects.  If our museums become vehicles to support the education and care of those most at-risk in our population, it seems like we can not only enrich minds, we can empower citizens.

 

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