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What do we want for our future built environment? 03/12/2016

A recent white paper released by JLL based on research undertaken in conjunction with TEDx Sydney entitled Is humanity the future architect? investigated how a range of people from varying backgrounds would like to see our built environment develop into the future.

A recent white paper released by JLL based on research undertaken in conjunction with TEDx Sydney entitled Is humanity the future architect? investigated how a range of people from varying backgrounds would like to see our built environment develop into the future.

The research, based on numerous surveys and interviews, asked participants: “If Mars became inhabitable to humans in 2050, how would you go about urbanising it to create places for people to work, live and play?”

The study was about encouraging participants to think outside the square and imagine how our cities and towns could look if we started from scratch without the limitations of existing buildings and infrastructure.

I think this is a very interesting exercise and useful in terms of discovering what people really want in their built environment and what we can do now to help facilitate providing those places that people desire for the future.

Some of the key elements that were raised are respective of where the development industry is already heading, and other priorities identified areas we can work on.

First up, the report noted that one of the key priorities for many people was the need to foster greater human interaction. Issues such as creating a sense of community, supporting health and wellness, fostering social cohesion and interpersonal relationships were all essential to this.

Rather than replicating the built environment of today, many participants identified the creation of buildings with multiple uses where people can live, work and play within small, self-sufficient communities as ideal.

This move to smaller hubs could potentially mean the end of the traditional CBD and the rise of smaller areas that reduce the need to commute and allow more time for family and friends.

This is an outlook that UDIA is very supportive of, and the development industry is increasing support through the creation of activity centres and ‘precinct’ style developments in a range of locations that can provide residents access to employment options as well as other services and amenities within their local area.

Public transport is also key to the success of this type of development and the study recognised the rise of automated transport and driverless cars as influencing travel and infrastructure requirements.

Overall, people want a sense of community where they live and work and they also want to maintain a connection with nature.

Buildings that are open and welcoming to the natural environment as well as the community are the types of development many of us would like to see in the future.

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