We must not let short-term thinking dictate our long-term future

Tim Gledstone from Squire & Partners

While we are having to adapt on our feet, it’s important to start planning with hope, writes Tim Gledstone

Architects and designers have found themselves creating public and private spaces within the rapidly evolving limits of a global pandemic. It’s crucial that we seize this once-in-a-generation moment to shift city planning towards people and wellbeing, and reduce our reliance on cars, unnecessary commutes and using residential suburbs as corridors to urban centres.

The government paper issued this month on Safer Public Spaces has some sound practical advice for designers, and we should duly take note of temporary social distancing and increased sanitation measures to control the spread of covid-19. The risk to our communities is real and we have a professional and moral responsibility to respond.

There is a danger, however, that some temporary solutions will become permanent, or that much of what is taken away will not be reinstated, particularly with inevitable strains on budgets.

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