Currently Reading

How COVID Will Shift Community Design

Community Development

How COVID Will Shift Community Design

September 13, 2021
Photo: sframe |

Architects, planners, and developers say that the pandemic will not cause any dramatic shifts to community planning, but there will be a refreshed appreciation for four community elements. The first, a greater emphasis on remote working opportunities, could manifest itself as an uptick in shared co-working spaces rather than a central office, Don Powers of Union Studio Architecture & Community Design told the National Association of Home Builders. Safer ways to socialize may also play a large role in the future of communities, and ties into another idea that there will be a greater balance of community and privacy.

“I think there will be renewed appreciation for things we already have, particularly outdoor spaces that allow us to interact without making physical contact — specifically the front porch,” says Don Powers, AIA, CNU, LEED AP, founder and president of Union Studio Architecture & Community Design in Providence, R.I.

Before automobiles, says Powers, Americans knew how to achieve the correct balance of being part of a community and being in their private realm. The front porch functioned as a social connector to neighbors and visitors passing by. Once automobiles came along, home owners began entering from the rear where the garage was located, and lifestyles shifted to the backyard.

He thinks the pendulum will swing back, and we are going to rediscover the street and the porch as an outdoor room.

“When you’re on the front porch, you’re not in the street, but you’re not in the house,” he says. “You’re in a protected, semi-private space.”

Some community-planning concepts are better suited to a post-COVID future, Powers says, specifically New Urbanism.

“The movement has always been about re-forming the way we make communities to prioritize that kind of public and semi-public world, as opposed to the way that we, in the past 50 years, have de-prioritized it [by sending] everybody to the patio or backyard,” he notes.

Read More

Related Stories

Community Development

Building a Pedestrian-Friendly Legacy Community

A home's community is an often overlooked "X factor" determining (at least in part) its resale value. These tips from Housing Design Matters make community a priority


Top 30 U.S. Home Builder DRB Group Merges Into Two New Brands

DRB Homes and DRB Elevate will absorb all DRB Group markets along the East Coast starting June 1st


Homeowners Associations Are Instituting Rental Restrictions to Fight Off Corporate Landlords

Investor purchases are flooding suburban markets and turning residential neighborhoods into rental hotspots, but some homeowners are fighting back


More in Category


Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.