What’s living in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park really like?

What’s living in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park really like? Listening to residents to understand everyday life in a new low-carbon neighbourhood

Chobham Manor was the first new neighbourhood to be built in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford – site of the London 2012 Games. The 116,500m, £270m residential-led development welcomed its first residents in 2015 with 259 homes in Phase 1.

But what does it feel like to live there?

An innovative study asked Chobham Manor residents about life in this purpose-built neighbourhood and analysed their use of utilities like electricity, heating and water to see if the development lived up to its promise of creating a sustainable, low-carbon community.

87% of residents were happy with a neighbourhood that was “in London, but with the feel of a small town”. And they used less electricity, water, and heating than the UK average of new builds and all homes, thanks to energy efficient designs. But there were issues with noise and encouraging wider use of cycling and green spaces by all.

Independent think tank Centre for London are hosting an event to explore lessons learned from Chobham Manor about design, sustainability and community engagement for developers, architects and local government. The event will also explore the value of carrying out similar Post Occupancy Evaluations (POE) studies across London and the UK.

The interactive event takes place on January 24th and is supported by the London Legacy Development Corporation and Buro Happold, who led the Chobham Manor study, and Hawkins\Brown Architects.

It will explore the innovative method behind this work – Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). POE studies are a deep listening exercise, inviting views via surveys, focus groups, and home interviews. Responses were received from all types of residents: owner-occupiers, renters, social renters, affordable renters and residents in shared ownership. This methodology helps to add to industry knowledge on delivering new neighbourhoods effectively.

Rosanna Lawes, Executive Director of Development at LLDC, said:

“It’s so important that we match the care and effort that goes into designing and building our neighbourhoods with a review of how those buildings work when people move into them.

By understanding how people use their homes and the spaces around them we can make sure we learn the lessons for future neighbourhoods and share with the wider industry as we build thousands more homes on and around the Park.

It’s vital to share and use the knowledge we gain to help tackle the climate emergency.”