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An inspiring, holistic approach to urban living in London

Posted on 29 July 2014

Written by:

Louise Dredge

I recently attended an uplifting, celebratory community event in north west London, organised by a community initiative that The Glass-House has supported with training and learning opportunities over a number of years. LCNC (London Community Neighbourhood Co-operative) are a women-led group based in north west London who aim to make a real difference to urban living through a model of living that is socially, environmentally and financially sustainable.

The women of LCNC held the event to celebrate the completion of their new self-built straw bale office, but the event revealed to me that they have developed a truly holistic approach to urban living.

Exploring the interior of the new straw bale office!

They had various stands to showcase different aspects of their initiative including:

Urban eco housing: One of the goals of the group is to self build a load bearing, three storey straw bale apartment building which would be intergenerational and inclusive with fair rent levels. At the event they invited people to draw ideas of their ideal homes.

Peer lending: Members of the group have helped to set up a mutual aid fund Finance Otherwise, to facilitate peer to peer lending, offering short term personal loans. As part of this company, they run finance literacy courses to help people – adults and children – better understand financial choices and their implications.

Food growing: The group are passionate about urban agriculture and its power to revitalize communities and support healthier and happier people and places. They are involved in a number of growing projects including Growing Otherwise and the Urban Sustainable Food Co-operative, and are working with local partners to establish a community kitchen and café

Showcasing their community cafe initiative
LCNC’s permaculture garden

It is hard not to be inspired by the vision of LCNC, and what they have achieved to date.
We look forward to following their journey of sustainable urban living and supporting them along the way.

During the tour of the straw bale office, LCNC member Leslie Barson said “Five of us pretty ordinary people could build this.” After my recent visit, I would argue that they are extraordinary….

Visit LCNC’s website to find out more about their approach or to get involved.