The web meeting of the Committee on Urban and Open Space Planning on 29 May 2020, chaired by Prof. Ulrike Böhm, served primarily to exchange views on the effects of the Corona pandemic.
Since working in a home office makes team coordination more difficult, many planning offices are asking themselves how the workflow can be optimized when working from home.
Coordination processes with and within public administrations are made more difficult by the restrictions of the pandemic. Decision-making processes as well as the start of new award procedures are delayed. The same applies to competitions. Prize jury meetings are postponed or conducted digitally. In the opinion of the working group, purely online prize juries are difficult because the projects submitted cannot be adequately discussed.
The experience with various mixed forms or a combination of real and virtual competition implementation is much better, e.g. according to the following model: In order to reduce the risk of infection, the invited experts stay in separate rooms during the jury sessions; they are only invited to join the jury if there is a concrete need for advice.
The order situation is currently good in many planning offices. Statements on the economic development are difficult at present. As the municipalities generally fear a collapse in their financial strength, those public projects that are considered by politicians and administrators to be of less systemic importance, e.g. the refurbishment of squares and green spaces, are sometimes called into question. On the positive side, it can be assumed that the new construction and refurbishment of schools and day-care centres will continue unchanged or new projects will be planned. It remains to be seen to what extent planning offices will be able to profit from the announced economic stimulus packages.
Source: bdla association magazine "Landschaftsarchitekten" 3/2020
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