Here in the UK, the South Coast is seeing billions of pounds of building and development tied into the renewal of town centres, accelerating infrastructure and homebuilding, and more. Built Environment Networking’s South Coast Development Conference this past Wednesday highlighted just how much growth is happening here, with senior local authorities joining developers, investors, and infrastructure providers to focus on the weight of these challenges and how we can solve them. Quickbase was on-site to learn the scope and detail of these challenges across the South Coast – and provide ways to address them. Here are three of the biggest themes from the conference, and how teams can start to solve these critical challenges.
Returning from Covid takes active management
One of the biggest takeaways from the conference is just how much development has started to kick back off. Throughout the day, speakers shared just how many new projects are underway and how much needs to be delivered. This goes for the public and private sector. And, with the additional challenges that Covid has brought on, such as supply chain snags, finding a way to manage this volume of work is a major consideration for organisations to consider.
Coming with this is the change in the role of the high streets and town centres in the UK. As Samer Bagaeen, Member of the Brighton and Hove City Council shared, this change in how people work and how people shop has significant implications on the real estate and development needs of high streets. Local authorities need to take an active part in delivering on community needs and managing those projects effectively. Further, as multiple presenters emphasized, specific to the South Coast, development has to focus on the working, living, and leisure options in manageable distance from where people live.
Sustainability and environmental impact are top of mind
Across the South Coast, sustainability is becoming a major focus for all development projects. Brighton, for example, is targeting 2030 to become a carbon neutral city, according to Max Woodford, Assistant Director of City Development and Regeneration of the Brightion & Hove City Council. This does have cost implications, but that doesn’t mean that a project has to become exorbitantly expensive. People often get the wrong idea that sustainability is an additional line item in the budget, but if done right, it can be managed well, as James Burchell of Tellon Capital said.
In the UK, sustainability is moving to become a regulation that everyone has to comply with and factor into their projects. From a private built environment perspective, this is driving a change in how to think of new projects – it becomes about putting sustainability first on the list.
One key capability is tracking environmental, health, and safety capabilities across your teams. Without the ability to report on, monitor, and act on EHS incidents in real time, or ensure the right training and certifications are in place, you risk the safety and well-being of your field team, your customers, and the environment.