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This changes everything: An investigation into the evolving responsibilities of the Built Environment sector in a post-pandemic world

  • ‘This changes everything’ explored the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic had on fifteen different elements of the built environment.
  • The report gave insight into short and long-term effects of the crisis on our cities, as well as suggestions on how to respond moving forwards.
  • PLP Labs collaborated with leading experts in their fields to gain insight into the issues and possible responses. These interactions are documented as interviews within the report.

In the midst of the global pandemic, PLP Labs set out to explore what the future of our cities might look like considering the changes that were happening throughout the world. The team spoke to leading experts from across the built environment and beyond to get their thoughts on changes that we could expect to see in both the short and long-term. ‘This changes everything’ focused on fifteen different elements of the built environment, with each topic including an evaluation of key changes, suggestions on how to move forward, and a discussion with a leading voice in that field. Through three key chapters – ‘Overarching Themes’, ‘City Design’ and ‘Sectors’ – we investigate everything from Resilience, Construction, and Mobility, through to Open Space, Workplace and Homes. Years later, many of the suggestions and insights still remain true.

PLP Labs and PLP Architecture continued to operate through the COVID-19 pandemic, adopting like many others new ways of working internally and with our partners. We used this global disruption as an opportunity to not only continue the high calibre work that we always strive to produce, but to learn from the changing world, produce better work and enhance the ways that we create the built environment.

We saw the months and years of the global health crisis as a truly important step in the development of our cities and the societies that inhabit them. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown shone a light on many aspects of our cities that need improvement. It also showed that many of the problems we faced, and the necessary solutions, are things that PLP and other industry leaders had been thinking about for years and been attempting to introduce into common practice.

This publication was one small part of our effort to understand the situation and how to move forward as we transitioned to the new normal and a healthier, more sustainable and smarter future. To understand another piece of the puzzle, we also conducted an internal survey to establish how working from home had changed people’s outlooks and approaches to work.

‘This changes everything’ was written with insight and input from valued contributors, including:

  • Sandy Tung, GLA
  • Daniel Chang, Hines Europe
  • Ilan Kelman, University College London
  • Araceli Camargo, Centric Lab
  • Sophia Cox, UK Green Building Council
  • Patrick Les Gales, Sciences Po
  • Mark Reynolds, Mace
  • Pierfrancesco, Maran, City of Milan
  • Federico Parolotto, Mobility in Chain
  • Jeff Risom, Gehl
  • Scott Malkin & William Riordan, Value Retail
  • Ronen Journo, WeWork
  • Andrew Harrison, Spaces That Work
  • Adina David & Gary McLuskey, Greystar
  • Gordon Seabright, Creative Land Trust

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