“Let’s face it, the needs of older people and families with young children are not so different. We all benefit from safe, walkable neighbourhoods, a range of services, affordable housing, and opportunities for social interaction.” – Tricia O’Donovan, Living Not Beige

Living Not Beige is a new South Australian property development company which involves people much sooner in the design process. Buyers are actively involved, can help shape the development and meet their future neighbours along the way.

Living Not Beige is the philosophy behind the company.  They want to help create living environments where people can flourish and live more satisfying lives.

LNB is establishing its first cluster of 11 eco-friendly homes at Aldinga and construction is due to start in the new year.  An information event for buyers or those interested in Living Not Beige is scheduled for 11:00am September 28th at 7 Heakea Walk, Aldinga.

The Aldinga project is designed to be like a multi-generation urban village where people have the privacy of their own home as well as a strong community and a sense of belonging. “The idea comes from retirement villages – but it doesn’t segregate people by age group because a sustainable community needs diversity – young people and families as well as older people,” said Director, Tricia O’Donovan.

“Fifty or so years ago retirement villages or aged care hostels were unheard of. People would move in with the family and grow older within their familiar community.  It was the natural thing to do. Back then, we had less need for professional or institutional caregivers or congregate living in retirement or aged care homes.

“In today’s world, that type of support network doesn’t exist.  Our kids live interstate or overseas; our relationships are often impermanent.  But gathering people from a single age group, separating them from the rest of the community is not sustainable or smart.”

LNB caters to families who see the benefit in sharing resources to extend living, playing or garden spaces; older people who want friendly neighbours of all age groups where they can continue to contribute, not a place where they are ‘entertained’; and people with disabilities who want to belong to a community rather than live in a group house.  Houses are also designed with the future in mind so they are easily adapted as people age.

Living Not Beige is not alone in recognising the demand for a deeper level of community where people can feel they belong and can be supported and get involved in creating a great place to live. We’re seeing these types of developments in other parts of the world too – they’re responding to people wanting to live more sustainably – perhaps share some resources such as playgrounds and community gardens – without foregoing privacy and independence.

“We’re offering something that’s a bit different for Adelaide,” said Tricia, “houses and communities for people who want to get involved early in the development process and have more say – sharing the fun as well as the work in creating a great place to live.”