What will this mean for urban centres and how can developers/investors adapt to this new environment? Rob Walker, PwC Engineering and Construction Leader reflects in PwC’s weekly briefing

Walker said, “One potentially unexpected outcome from the pandemic is a different perspective on office space and how much is needed. Firms that were anticipating growth via increased office provision, for example, may review this in light of the success of homeworking and the potential real estate/operational savings this could bring.

This along with the structural impacts on retail, may accelerate investment in the repurposing of town centres. This provides opportunities for developers/fitters to become retrofitters with large offices potentially being converted into smaller modules or something else, such as parking or much needed new homes, with an emphasis on quality, innovation and affordability – integrating green/leisure spaces where possible.  Fewer commuters, reduced public transport capacity and greater dependence on cars and bikes will encourage changes to transport infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the call for increased road building will become louder, with concerns about the environmental impact offset by the greater availability of electric vehicle charging points incorporated into developments and streetscapes.”