Skip to content Skip to navigation

9. Future predictions

Return to July 2020 Update

Length:1 min read; 398 words

Note: The following paragraphs summarize the category of Future predictions observed in July. More information about the specific category from July (and previous months) can be found in the downloaded report(s).The number in square brackets (e.g., [150]) refers to a reference where the reader can find more infomation about a specific statement.  The references can be found in the References list below, Systematized References page or in the dowloaded report.


The discussion about future with predictions increased from 10.6% in June to 14.8% in July. In April everybody was busy with the transition/ survival and not discussing much about the future as we all hoped the pandemic will go away in a month or so. In May the community was getting focused on the future as we all realized that the pandemic is here to stay, and in June the future has somehow become the present - due to accelerated changes we started planning and preparing for the post-pandemic built environment and not only speculating how and what will happen in the future. In July discussion about future of everything again intensifies.

As the pandemic progresses we know more about the virus and “we have now more questions than at the beginning of the outbreak.” [84] “So many questions...Let’s meet in 6 months to see and discuss how things developed.” [274] “There’s not the issue with the supply of insights about the future – it is about the demand question – how do you use those insights to make better decisions.” [376]

Our future and future of the planet depends on the investments and strategies for green future. [185][186] [260] “Going forward, there is going to be a lot more focus on society, customers and clients, family, and employees.”- Larry Fink, CEO, BlackRock [283].

Pandemic has amplified innovation to historic levels (the future is digital) [261]. Future brings digitization of all systems we use such as city infrastructures (e.g., digital water [339]).

Sustainable approaches related to buildings will become commonplace, such as breathing buildings; future of work will include a hybrid model, but more WFH (impact on residential building design, though WFH might be less sustainable [377]); resilient food system (agrotechnology is enabling the conversion of factories and warehouses for commercial indoor farming → urban farming will be incorporated into building systems at all scales); flexible and efficient utility services with microgrids; modular construction (manufacturing and assembly offsite). [258]

Cities of the future will have more polycentric organization [257][258], focused on pedestrians and local communities. [259]

Future travel will have to rebuild trust in the aviation industry through design. [266] Weak companies will die, habits will change, and politics will shape the economy. But many things will not change. [265]

(More future prediction information is included in the sections above, especially in the Buildings and cities for a next normal section).

Previous June Category Summary


[84] “Larry Brilliant on How Well We Are Fighting Covid-19 | WIRED.” (accessed Jul. 11, 2020).

[185] “Energy, Climate and Sustainability: The Defining Issue of the 21st Century (12:00 PT).” (accessed Jul. 29, 2020).

[186] D. Gilliland, “A bipartisan energy infrastructure bill is still possible,” TheHill, Jul. 14, 2020. (accessed Jul. 29, 2020).

[257] “Columbia | CBIPS: AEC Industry Experiences from COVID-19 Lecture by Peter Murray | Center for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Public Spaces.” (accessed Jul. 21, 2020).

[258] N. Parekh, “Reimagining the Future of Cities as Healthy Cities | Dialogue Blog | Research & Insight,” Gensler. (accessed Aug. 13, 2020).

[259] I. Mulcahey, “How the Pandemic Could Reshape the World’s Cities | Dialogue Blog | Research & Insight,” Gensler. (accessed Aug. 13, 2020).

[260] A. Brower, “Are Our COVID-19 Responses Missing the Big Picture? | Dialogue Blog | Research & Insight,” Gensler. (accessed Aug. 13, 2020).

[261] “Driving Value and Values | Accenture.” (accessed Aug. 17, 2020).

[265] “Opinion | It’s 2022. What Does Life Look Like? - The New York Times.” (accessed Jul. 13, 2020).

[266] K. Ritchie, “How Airport Design Can Restore Passenger Confidence | Dialogue Blog | Research & Insight,” Gensler. (accessed Aug. 13, 2020).

[274] Architect’s Newspaper, “Post-Covid Geographies: Matt Shaw in Conversation with James Wines & Dan Wood - Zoom.” (accessed Aug. 27, 2020).

[283] “CEO leadership for a new era | McKinsey.” (accessed Aug. 18, 2020).

[339] “Columbia | CBIPS: AEC Industry Experiences from COVID-19 by Mehrotra & Zornes | Center for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Public Spaces.” (accessed Jul. 30, 2020).

[376] Navigating Uncertainty: Using Strategic Foresight to Build Resilience and Agency. .

[377] M. Turits, “Why working from home might be less sustainable.” (accessed Aug. 17, 2020).

Monthly Summary: 
AEC and Pandemic: Response and Impact - July 2020 Update