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 06   /   2020

Lockdown Energises Appetite For Repairing Obsolete World

We may, at long last, be in sight of a post-Covid world but perhaps the lock-down period, where our lives were dramatically curtailed, provided us with the necessary time to reflect on the challenges of climate change and the actions that generate our individual carbon footprints.  Even when this pandemic is over, we should all learn to live with less.

It is unlikely that we will be able to consume and travel as much as we have done if we want to protect ourselves and our planet.  Creating new types of recreation that are sensory and experiential but are local and community centred to limit their environmental effect needs to be foremost in people’s minds.  When easy access to the wider world is limited we begin to appreciate the importance of just being outside.  The experiential can be far less complex than a trip to Bali to ‘find’ ourselves.  We should be reconnecting with nature on our doorsteps: those wonders we have seen, perhaps for the first time in ages, after being forced to run round our parks with all the gyms closed.

Our parks are under-appreciated and often overlooked but they should be seen as important third spaces offering a respite from the stresses of work and everyday homelife.  As well as the sheer joy of external space new types of building should be created in parks to boost their appeal: enclosures that can operate both externally and internally combining services with tranquil spaces to retreat for quiet contemplation.

In this vision a landscaped hill comes to life as its planted metal wings swing up to reveal a host of facilities: serving counters for caterers; bicycle repair shops; and outlets for locally produced artisan goods, to name but a few.  On the other side are a places to sit in contemplation or meet with friends: this space could be hired out for events such as weddings or memorial services; offering the opportunity to hold event in open closed and semi open building.  This zone would also be made available for community support roles from a simple exhibition room through to emergency medical spaces for disaster relief.

In a post-Covid / carbon-neutral world we shall all be flying far less.  Even before coronavirus redundant airliners were stored in multitude in the American deserts and 6,000 empty jets can be found world-wide.  This number will now grow enormously as more and more airlines have planes lying unused.  The hulls of these planes, from mighty multi-decked Airbuses to mid-range Boeings and VIP jets are strong, well-insulated and durable.  They should be used for housing and co-working spaces or emergency accommodation providing vital services for the community.  Working with the pavilion building they could also support events like park-runs and fundraising with the emphasis on doing things together for the greater good of our communities, or just for having fun and goodness knows we need some of that nowadays.

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