As we all reflect on how the current situation will impact our day-to-day lives in the future, the development industry is grappling with what a post-COVID-19 residential community might look like. I have observed this discussion with great interest as many developers have suggested significant changes to the way that their buildings respond. In doing so, they also seem to admit the fundamental shortcomings of their current vision and approach. They’ve realised you can’t run forward without first understanding where you are now.
Let me explain. For a long time now, the EG project vision for our developments has spoken of physical wellbeing (the built environment), social connection (ground plane activations) and mental health (fostering shared social experiences). I have written about this in detail. The vision is based on our belief that that B.I.G. ideas are fundamental to the lives of people in our residential communities. That belief is constant, present at any time and all the time. The COVID-19 period has brought the project visioning process into sharp focus but it has not changed the beliefs behind our approach. Instead, it has made us more confident that our roots are in the right place.
It is true our residents may choose to spend more time or less time in a traditional office environment or make other changes to their lives. Regardless, one fundamental thing remains. The most important thing in their lives is how their home makes them feel. Not only are feelings a response to their physical surroundings but also to a sense of wellbeing, connection and health, the culture of their home. This is true today, tomorrow and for all the years to come.
So how is the culture of our developments influenced by the corporate culture of the developer? There has been a lot written and said about the EG culture and I have added my contribution. The critical thing is that there is no difference between what we believe to be true within our own lives and the opportunities that we offer to the lives of our residents. There is no placemaking template that can be overlaid onto a residential development. Development is a skill that is rarely learnt but can be refined. This refinement comes though continually looking at our own roots, and fostering our corporate culture.
At EG, we pride ourselves on the culture that we have grown, not just for our own personal benefit but because of the wide impact that we have in our professional lives. Our residential developments continue to evolve but the fundamental truths behind their approach remains true.
So when I think about the discussion on post-COVID-19 residential development, I know that the way ahead will be built on our strong foundations.