Working from home is now the new norm. All unnecessary activities have been suspended. Office towers are empty… How can government funds help the vulnerable in society survive and thrive?
“We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another word..”
Arundhati Roy -
Whilst it is certain Coronavirus has caused tragedy across the globe, humanity has proven it will always find the strength to recover and prosper. Examples of civic hospitality are shared daily through social platforms showing compassion. The momentum and positive spirit manifested in the public’s reaction to the outbreak will lead our society into a healthier, happier and more united landscape.
On the 27th March, the government requested that councils provide shelter to all homeless within 48 hours without any direct funding. Councils welcomed the urgency of the request but were concerned with the magnitude of the task. The solutions provided were always going to be short term and with homeless people now being told to return to the streets, we ask how the government might be able to solve the issue for good.
The Guardian reported “England’s 343 local authorities face a potential £5bn funding shortfall over the next year, with several understood to be on the brink of insolvency”. With a distinct lack of funding and a global recession on the horizon, how can we ensure the most vulnerable in society are not left to fend for themselves?
This is a chance to utilise
redundant spaces for community benefit and think about what is next for Covid-19 allocated spaces. Across the country many facilities have been transformed into emergency locations for coronavirus patients and working from home is now the new norm.
The pandemic has instigated a critical analysis of how the working world works. As a result, we have seen vast improvements in the environment such as reduced air pollution and signs of nature healing itself where humanity had previously caused blight. The required rapid changes to daily life have unlocked opportunities, previously unthought of, to change the world for the better.
The opportunity has arisen for commercial building stock to be repurposed as community centric mixed-use
architecture. How can large corporations and the vulnerable benefit from these changes?
With the government using funds to lease redundant floors, instead of investing in short term fixes, we can reduce the rent overheads of big businesses who have benefit hard by the pandemic and have a reduced need for their office space.
Our proposal explores how our existing commercial building stock could be repurposed to rehabilitate and house the homeless, provide job opportunities, education and charity missions. In 2025, the threat of global pandemics will not have subsided and daily life will continue to be heavily influenced by Covid-19. This paradigm explores changing attitudes towards community and how it can be benefitted from the new social landscape.