First of two parts
LET’S end 2014 and start 2015 with an optimistic outlook. No one can accurately predict the future, but in our professios where we plan, design, and engineer future communities and cities, we are always on the lookout for the latest innovations that will propel our professions and designs forward.
Here are our expected and continued global trends in architecture, planning, and design:
Focus on the behavior of Millennials and Baby Boomers
Almost all major businesses are looking thoroughly into the preferences and behavior of these two generations as they become the major consumers and users of new spaces. These two generations may present, at first glace, unequal and diverse requirements, but essentially, their needs and preferences are quite similar. Today’s millennial generation have been raised into adulthood by the baby boomer generation, so things like economic mobility, continuing education, preferences for urban-like places, use of public transit, and prime modes of transportation like walking and biking have all been observed in both generations, which will continue to influence how the built environment is planned and designed.
Multi-family housing construction
More people (especially those from the millennial generation) are moving into the city because of their proximity to their places of work all around the world. And these have propelled architects and planners to design developments that would answer the projected saturation of the housing market. A direct result of the changing family size and dynamics have spurred developments in multifamily housing in the Philippines. Multifamily housing ranges from low-rise apartments to high-rise condominiums, and they will continue to be a popular choice for consumers in the next decade.
Mixed uses and vertical, compact developments will continue to increase economic value
Compact, mixed-use developments provide economic benefits to developers through higher property values, marketability, and quicker sales and leasing, especially among baby boomers and millennials. The resurgence of urban development through vertical urbanism is helping provide more compact, high-rise residential housing for key workers.
Based on the data provided by Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) on the number of under construction and proposed buildings in the Philippines, the number of residential and office/residential buildings still dominate the list and all of them are conveniently located in the cusp or within walking distance from each of the major central business districts in Metro Manila. Efforts made by private developers to help proliferate vertical urbanism in order to minimize suburban sprawl, decrease the country’s carbon footprint, and save more space for the development of green open spaces hopes to inspire future developers and leaders to help shape a more conducive cityscape.
Sustainable, resilient architecture will be a big thing
New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other progressive cities are adapting sustainability and resiliency into their future plans, now that climate change has made its presence felt all around the world. Typhoon Haiyan was a grim reminder that the country’s existing crisis management systems and adaptive capacities is in dire need of re-framing to generate new and long-term alternatives. Each city varies enormously in terms of adaptation and vulnerability, two important factors that determine a city’s resiliency. Just like societies, a city’s adaptive capacity is dependent on governance, institutions, technology, wealth and the propensity to plan. A city’s resilience must be looked at from the business context and the human context.
Retail-tainment will remain a big real estate player
Increasing spending power equals to more diversified choices. Thus, expect more retail developments in the Philippines that will cater to an overall retail experience. Our commercial centers and shopping malls are slowly turning into small cities with integrated mixed-use and multi-use developments. Shopping malls have now expanded to include hotels, offices, residential spaces, and bridges to transportation
More focus on health and wellness
Walkable cities are livable, healthier cities. This has become a global advocacy by architects, designers, and planners. The US, for example, have taken the issues on health and wellness to a macro scale through infrastructure developments, improvements and government policies that promote people to walk, bike, or take the public transit. However, there is a knowledge gap between research on human health and wellness with implementation in the built environment. Well-designed and well-planned buildings and spaces lead to better health outcomes elsewhere in the world and the principles that the Philippines can adapt to.
3D printing will change how designers and clients see their designs
3D printers have revolutionized how we view tangible things. It makes an architect and designer’s visions one step closer to reality and in turn, help clients better visualize their visions that computer renderings and animations might not be able to convey accurately. Architects and designers can now test each structural element of their designs and improve design efficiency early in the design process. This significant advancement in technology will drive the practice and change the design process for the better as 3D printers continue to evolve in size and capacity. Down the road, we might be able to print building components to scale.
(Part 2 appears next week)