This year we will run a social experiment that takes a radical new approach to helping households: cut bills, build stronger connections with neighbours and reduce environmental impact. What is it and why do we feel it is important?

Why 'the street that shared'?

Our conversations with leading retailers, manufacturers and restaurateurs indicate that food, energy and fuel costs will significantly increase in 2017. With consumer credit rising at its fastest rate since 2005, this increase in the cost of basic commodities will put greater pressure on household budgets.

In a time of unpredictability, people will seek reassurance by taking more control of their lives and building stronger connections in their immediate locality. There will be a rise in ‘nostalgia with a twist’ with people turning to traditional pursuits adapted to fit with modern living. Working with Bosch and IKEA we know many households are struggling with storage, the recent trend for decluttering indicates a desire to create more space filled with less stuff.

Globally 2016 is expected to be the warmest year on record with scientists pointing at human activity as one of the drivers. High levels of consumption increase carbon emissions. We need to provide people with a high quality of life without growing pressure on the earth’s capacity to cope.

What is 'the street that shared'?

This insight has led to ‘the street that shared’. In one street with a wide socio-economic grouping we will provide support and inspiration for exploring how far people will trust and share with their neighbours for personal and communal benefit.

Working with leading companies we will provide the latest technology alongside our extensive behaviour change knowledge to run a series of street challenges. In a communal space we will provide a community shed, fridge/freezer and laundrette giving people a chance to share and declutter their homes.

People will be encouraged to share skills and growing spaces creating locally grown food. Shared electric vehicles and bikes will be available giving people the chance to consider selling their own vehicles. Community finance options will be designed enabling people to pool debt, cutting interest rates and reducing monthly payments.

Some ideas will work and others won’t, but all will be independently measured with results shared in inspiration guides allowing other communities to replicate the best bits.

Can you support 'the street that shared?

We have huge ambitions and this is a major undertaking so we are calling for the following support:

  • Can you help us find a suitable street in the UK that would be up for the challenge?
  • What things should we be including in the sharing element and what inspiration can we find from other schemes?
  • Can you help us create a robust evaluation framework?
  • If you are a major company, do you want to be a supporting partner joining those already on board who are providing equipment, skills and funding?

If you answer yes to any of the above we would love to chat with you, please do get in touch with us at trewin@hubbub.org.uk.

If successful 'the street that shared' will provide a template for a new way of living offering people personal benefits as well as creating a greater good – we are hugely excited about its potential.