COVID-19 has brought on a number of changes to the way that we live, work, and play, but despite the new ways that we interact, dramatic departures from traditional community planning aren't expected to take physical shape. Instead, it's predicted that there will be a renewed appreciation for specific elements of community design as people get back to a more normal way of life. What this means for architects, planners, and developers is that when designing new community spaces, there will be a few things to consider in order to stay up to date with current trends, motivations, and preferences.
Considerations for the Post-Covid Environment
1. Increased Appreciation and Consideration for Outdoor Spaces
During the pandemic, mandated lockdowns across the country forced families to stay indoors in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. This was a tough battle for many and brought the appreciation for outdoor public spaces to new heights. People are naturally drawn to the outdoors and are constantly seeking out ways to interact with each other. This means that the importance of community amenities such as parks, walking trails, playgrounds, and open green spaces has increased, and these spaces can provide what many are looking for in close proximity to their homes.
In the case of both single-family living and multi-family developments, lots of large trees, smaller "pocket parks", and shared community green space can help to connect neighbors and encourage both physical activities as well as other positive human interaction. On a more simplistic level, front porches are expected to be heavily used as many wish to connect with the outdoor community environment from the comfort and safety of their own properties.
2. Increased Remote Work Population
The spike of the remote work model during the pandemic saw swaths of people leaving the office and setting up home-based work environments. While many have returned to their physical office locations, the remote work trend has a strong foothold and is something that community planners should take into account as more people choose to work from their homes. The use of libraries and co-working spaces should see an increase, and the concept of outdoor workspaces could catch on quickly (so long as there's convenient electricity built into the design).
3. Balancing Community and Privacy
In recent years, privacy has become a paramount objective for many families. Fences, backyard patios, and strategic landscaping have enabled many to close off their properties from the outside world. But as restrictions ease, the concept of privacy is also expected to relax to some degree as people desire a greater sense of community in their neighborhoods. Front porch areas will be viewed as prime real estate for achieving a balance between community and privacy and allow families to interact with the outside world at their leisure. For planners, this means creating open streets where neighbors can easily enjoy the presence of passersby.
Realcognita Is Planning for the Future
Realcognita places a strong focus on community and employs more than 140 architects and surveyors at home in Texas and abroad in both Australia and the Philippines. We specialize in residential architectural services including drafting, 3D rendering, estimating, and scheduling to provide support and solutions to residential homebuilders. Our ability to integrate community planning into home design can help you create better homes that your customers will appreciate and value.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and we'll help you plan for the future.