2020 – a year of lessons for the built environment

There is no getting away from the fact that 2020 has been a life/work experiment that no-one could have predicted and it will shape the built environment for years to come.

But this is an evolution, not a revolution. Yes, bricks and mortar retail has had an extremely tough year but it was already struggling in some quarters.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

And working from home pre-dates the March lockdown – it just became a necessity rather than an option.

So what lessons can we take from the exceptional circustances of 2020?

We learned the value of the office and the important role it can play.

There are advantages to working from home – for some at least. It can be more productive when you just need to get your head down and concentrate, for example.

It gives time back as there is no commute which can mean a better work-life balance.

Value of interaction

But being forced to work from home has also shown the value of interaction which you get from working in a shared space.

It has highlighted how skills and knowledge can be more easily be built and shared – particularly for those starting out in their career.

Will this affect how office space is used – and ultimately designed? Undoubtedly.

Continue reading “2020 – a year of lessons for the built environment”

Portfolio: Thinking Real Estate magazine for Trowers & Hamlins

In the Autumn I worked with Trowers & Hamlins on their Thinking Real Estate client magazine, interviewing and writing a series of features on issues affecting and shaping the property industry.

Topics included: The shift towards social value in real estate, sustainable tourism, balancing tougher regulations and housing delivery, intergenerational living and combating loneliness and green finance.

You can read or download Thinking Real Estate online here.

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From my portfolio: Is extending PDR the answer to housing delivery?

By taking that decision-making role away from local authorities and politicians you could potentially create completely different places. Where will that lead us in terms of the placemaking local authorities are trying to bring forward through a plan making system?” Jacqueline Backhaus, Trowers & Hamlins

Is extending permitted development rights the answer to delivering more housing and regenerating high streets?

For Trowers & Hamlins Thinking Real Estate, I asked Jacqueline Backhaus and Rory Stracey about the pros and cons.

Read the full piece on Trowers website where you will also find pieces on Omni-use development, future cities and ethical investment.

From my portfolio: Making construction great to work in again

There is a real dichotomy as to where the industry should put its efforts.”

Assad Maqbool, partner, Trowers & Hamlins

Attracting more people into the construction and property industry is vital given the projected shortfall of workers across a broad range of skills.

It was really interesting talking to Assad Maqbool and Katie Saunders for Trowers & Hamlins Thinking Real Estate about some of the initiatives but also about what else needs to be done and could be done.

You can read the full piece here.