In the UK, as in several other countries, cities are planned according to the standards and regulations set in stone already a hundred years ago. However, we simply no longer live like we did 100 years ago. New urban innovation trends aim to address emerging needs and diminishing or increasing demands for different services. Changes in family structure and the continued drift of people from rural to urban areas have consequences for property markets and asset localization.
The emergence of the sharing economy is placing high value on cost reduction and seamless social interactions, while the elderly population continues to rise. At the same time, new mobility behaviours and advances in real estate development and construction demand better structures and spaces, McKinsey & Company, the consultancy, stresses in their report.
So we ask: when will urban planning standards change to allow what makes sense in our contemporary world? These trailer parks and caravans (RIGHT), that never move, are allowed. Yet, in some countries, architecturally enriching, comfortable modular houses with a small ecological footprint (LEFT) are hard to get a permit for, or not allowed at all – simply because it is something not foreseen in urban planning standards written generations ago. When will planning start allowing for more minimalist housing to serve our contemporary human needs? Time for a change?