We have moved from recent emphasis on environmental challenges, following a period of economic challenges (austerity etc) to suddenly a period of social challenge. This pushes forward the need for a more human-centred approach than we have had. Resilience needs to become more rounded and respond to a wider range of ’shocks’.
We need to be aware of previous aspirations but ensure we are not unduly driven by these. We need to think where intervention is needed a) now, b) transition and c) longer term. We need to consider where immediate changes can also realise other social, economic and environmental benefits.
Resilience quick responses to specific needs. This needs localised decision making and strong community support networks.
A human-centred resilience approach encourages ‘big stuff’ and ‘small stuff’ infrastructure to be considered in a more equally balanced way.
Future public sector investment needed to kick-start the economy must generate broader added value returns – do we need a new framework to capture and balance wider societal and economic benefits. The Arup Total Value Framework may be helpful but could benefit from a ‘COVID update’.
Digital resilience can support our clients in managing their own networks and to start to think about how they might more effectively develop a digital response to future ‘shock’.
Movement changes are key and could have land use implications. The opportunity to increase walking and cycling are there, but the avoidance of public transport on health grounds could increase cars and act as a deterrent. The health fears on public transport could be a transition that needs to be managed as a transition, not the longer term. Implementation is needed now on a temporary basis followed by the transition phase and the longer term.
The lack of private open space for apartments may change design requirements. If we can change movement patterns, this provides an opportunity to use city-centre land for more open space.
Read more of our thoughts on planning for a post-pandemic world