What will the world look like after the pandemic? Indeed, is the word ‘after’ correct, given that we may be living with, rather than defeating, this virus longer than we now expect. We will certainly be managing government, businesses, and communities profoundly shaped by the crisis. And we will be asking not just what has worked within our services, work and lives but what has changed within and without.
We are all trying to understand the nature of this crisis and the outlines of the emerging but unclear ‘new normal’ by asking questions and identifying scenarios. What will happen to mass transit? How can we share road space in a more shared way to promote public health? How will office space be occupied going forward and indeed what will the jobs of the future be let alone where will they be?
Will the very urban form of our cities be transformed through public health concerns – and what might that mean for key public policy debates about higher density development, the future of suburbia, and indeed the future of outer urban areas and regional towns? Most deeply, how can we harness and honour the power of community we have seen so demonstrably and movingly in this crisis. It would be great if its legacy is a future where we design and deliver our cities, and their enabling infrastructure, through profound and creative engagement with our people
Because I am confident that we can all ask the right questions and together find the answers that our notion of resilience in this crisis shouldn’t be that we simply ‘bounce-back’ but that we ‘bounce-forward’, to a better world. That is the Arup spirit and it will guide our urgent collaborations with our clients and indeed civil society.