The Climate Innovation District brings together cutting-edge technology and Scandinavian design to create a sustainable community in the heart of Leeds…
Whenever people talk about the Climate Innovation District, they always focus on the sustainability. And that makes sense. It is, after all, one of the most eco-friendly developments in the UK. But it’s now two years since the first residents moved in and something amazing has happened – the community has blossomed. So now, sustainability is just one of the many reasons why people choose to live here.
It has a unique community spirit
The Climate Innovation District is one of the most sustainable developments in the UK. But that’s not always why people move here and it’s certainly not the only reason residents love it. The thing everyone always comes back to is the community. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced and a million miles from what most people expect from city-centre living.
Everyone helps each other out – they babysit, they walk each other’s dogs, they drop off the papers when you’re self-isolating, and yes, they really will give you a cup of sugar if you run out. They’ve created a community of like-minded people who’ve bought their forever home and want to lay down roots, so they make a real effort to get to know each other.
The communal areas help. There’s decking down by the river and seating in the Secret Garden, so you can catch up with your neighbours over a glass of wine or a BBQ. And across the river, Pig Love’s pop-up bar has become everyone’s favourite local. They have yoga and running clubs too – and the community Slack channel has 43 channels covering everything from cats to babies.
“I was never that neighbourly,” Solar Avenue resident Charlie Holland confessed. “We lived next door to a guy for 10 years and he never said hello, but here, you can’t get in your car without chatting, you’re always late for work because you’re chatting. Everyone wants to get together and do things. So yeah, the neighbours are the biggest thing for me, it’s such a nice community.”
It makes sustainable living effortless
The beauty of the Climate Innovation District is that you can live a more sustainable life, without making any sacrifices. Their homes are built with energy efficiency in mind. They’re over ten times more air-tight than UK building regulations and use a state-of-the-art MVHR that makes heating requirements up to ten times lower than an average UK home.
It all sounds very complicated, but in practice, it’s effortless. The MVHR pulls fresh air in and pumps stale air out, transferring 90% of the heat in the process. It works in the background, so you don’t have to do a thing, and gives your home a lovely fresh-air feel. Add smart tech, with a single switch to turn off all lights and unnecessary appliances, and you’ve got easy sustainability.
But it doesn’t end there. From car-free streets to community gardens where you can pick fresh strawberries, the entire development has been designed with sustainability in mind. And that has a ripple effect on residents. Some have given up their cars in favour of the on-site car club, others make small changes that really add up, but everyone shares the same ethos.
“It’s allowed us to have a more sustainable lifestyle without even really knowing it. We’ve always had a quite sustainable outlook, but when we moved in, we started doing things we hadn’t before, like getting sustainable toothbrushes, because we realised the impact we could have without making major changes,” Solar Avenue resident Jessica Berriege explained.
It’s the lifestyle you want
Let’s talk about the homes for a minute. Solar Avenue and the Secret Garden were the first to be developed and they share the same dedication to quality design, but there are subtle differences. Solar Avenue offers upside-down living with an open-plan entertainment space that steps out onto an incredible roof terrace, while the Secret Garden promises serene riverside views.
They share a Scandi, minimalist design, but you can make it your own – and everyone has. For some, it’s the epicentre of their social lives, a place where they can entertain friends and neighbours, for others, it’s the heart of their family, a space to cook, relax and play. Which is why they have a real mix of residents, with young couples and new families living side-by-side.
Citu has taken everything you love about the suburbs and transplanted it into the city centre. Their homes are wonderfully spacious. Four bedrooms create endless possibilities, from the simple luxury of a dressing room to the hope of building a family. And unusual design features, like three-storey light wells, promise the kind of wow-factor you rarely find in a suburban semi.
“I love the look. I love the landscaping, I love the greenery,” Solar Avenue resident Mlindi Kulashe told us. “You make your way up to this grand entrance into the living space, then you just open a door and you’re on the rooftop. We’re still young, we love to socialise, we love to have gatherings with friends, so it suits our personality and our lifestyle and all the things we like to do.”
It’s city centre living with a difference
The location couldn’t be better. Thanks to the District’s pedestrian bridge, the city centre is just a 15-minute stroll away, which means your morning commute is more riverside ramble than rage-inducing traffic. And all the perks of the city are right on your doorstep. Pubs, shops, restaurants – they’re just a short walk away, which is as convenient as it is sustainable.
But, and here’s the magic of it, you’d never believe it was there. From the moment you step onto the development, it’s like a different world. Beautifully landscaped gardens, wildflower meadows and car-free streets create a sense of escape you’d never think possible in the city centre. And what little sound does reach the gates is blocked out by the triple glazed windows. Sweet peace!
If you do need to travel further afield, they have underground parking and electric charging points, but the central location means you can seriously consider going car-free. Many of their residents go down to one car or none at all, and they’ve designed the development to support those choices, with free cycle storage and easy access to the on-site car club.
“We love it,” Secret Garden resident Jessica Brennan explained. “Curtis comes from a very rural part of Canada and I don’t think he was ready to live in the city, but I wasn’t ready to leave it. So this is the perfect combination, we’re super close to the city, we can walk to anything we want to and we still have that city lifestyle, but we don’t feel like we’re in the middle of the city.”
Want to know more? Register your interest
Homes are now available in both Solar Avenue and Secret Garden, so if you want to make sustainability effortless, if you want to enjoy a community lifestyle in the heart of the city, register your interest today and Citu will arrange a viewing.