What will 2019 bring?
I think we will experience even more focus on the design of our urban environment in 2019. This will include Climate Adaptation and Universal Design and because of the lack of housing, continued focus on densification of our urban environment - designers will be a significant part of solving all of these issues.
There might still be a few doubting the urgency of our changing climate, but when David Attenborough declares that 'Much of the natural world will be distinct if we don’t do something about it', the world seem to listen.
The way we design our environment will be significant in helping to alleviate this. Our towns, cities and villages need to be designed with access to public transport and pedestrian and cycling links. Climate adaptation measures, such as sustainable urban drainage, allowing the landscape to reduce the impact of the extra rainfall, is already becoming a significant part of any design in the public realm.
Denser urban environments, both in larger cities and in more rural locations are a given due to the lack of housing, but higher densities will also be key to alleviating climate change. Higher concentration of people supports new public transport and shorter trips to school, shops and work establishes the need for better and safer pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, downgrading our reliance on the car and thereby lowering CO2 emissions.
Universal Design will also come to the forefront in 2019. Designing for everyone at all abilities, making sure that no one will be excluded or forced to use back/side entrances, alternative routes and obscure steps or ramping leaving them left out in the public realm will be a key design feature. Considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process will be a given.
As 2019 in some ways on a bigger scale seem unpredictable and politically uncertain, there is no doubt that, as designers, we have the tools to both promote and implement greater awareness and tolerance of what is going on in our environment and in the world in general.
The Future is Green!