When it comes to people and place, one thing we know for certain is that needs and demands change over time. Adaptable places and buildings are able to accommodate new uses, and changing demands and circumstances. They are capable of having a long life without inconvenient or expensive renovations.

Places can change unpredictably in response to social, economic, environmental and technical developments. Therefore places can only flourish under changing conditions by being adaptable and resilient.

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from adverse situations. Such situations can include economic change, flooding, coastal erosion, civil disturbance or terrorism etc. To make a place resilient we need to know about its vulnerabilities and assets. A resilient place will have a degree of built-in redundancy in its systems, which mans that if one part is under pressure, another will be a able to share the strain. In the case of flooding for instance, a park or open space will have capacity to flood if the existing drainage fails and still protect homes from damage.

Places need to be adaptable at every scale, demands will change as children are born and grow up, as people work differently, as we grow older and as technology changes. Wider towns and villages must change as industries change, demand for housing and workplaces change and as buildings and infrastructure age.

Former Lifetime Homes principles

Former Lifetime Homes principles

Key Considerations

  • How can a place be made adaptable by planning a movement network, with street widths and block sizes that can accommodate very different forms of development in future.
  • How the place will adapt to changing working practices and demands as well as changing living circumstances.
  • Whether there is potential to make changes to house types to include subdividing internal spaces, dividers, adding entrances, servicing, taking out stairs or inserting lifts etc.

Last Reviewed: Saturday, November 17, 2018

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