5 Ways to Retrofit Suburbs
April 27, 2022 AD&V
Suburb.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR |  AD&V® is dedicated to advanced and energy-efficient sustainable architecture & interior design that enhances people’s experience of the world and improves their lives.

Retrofitting gives suburbs the opportunity to transform into better places.

Conventional suburbs are flawed. They’re underutilized, they barely support walkable areas, and they contain dying commercial strips and buildings. In order for suburbs to become better places, they need to be retrofitted. Here are 5 ways to retrofit suburbs.

1. INVOLVING COMMUNITIES

The first step to  retrofit suburbs is to involve the community in the process. When you include people in the process of creating their own spaces, you help establish and foster person-place relationships.

Designers and developers need to respect, relate and respond to the people who will be living in the suburbs. They also need to keep in mind that they will not only be transforming spaces, but they will also be building connections, relationships, lifestyles, opportunities, and memories. They are building communities.

2. DESIGNING FOR MOBILITY & WALKABILITY

An important  way to retrofit suburbs is to make them mobile and walkable. Incorporating walking paths, bike lanes, and bus stops make suburbs walkable and accessible for everyone. Additionally, having pedestrian areas where people can walk, encourages physical activity, and improves the community’s overall wellness.

3. ADDING CLOSE AMENITIES

Adding commercial spaces such as wellness centers, supermarkets, office buildings, restaurants, and stores is another way to retrofit suburbs. Furthermore, schools, recreational spaces, entertainment areas, and hospitals all bring a community to life. This makes it easy for people to be in close-proximity of amenities and promotes economic growth.

4. INCORPORATING SUSTAINABLE METHODS

Making suburbs sustainable is another great way to retrofit them. Sustainable suburbs are designed to minimize the negative impact on the environment through energy-saving technology, solar panels, the use of sustainable materials, recycling, or repurposing supporting long-term ecological balance.

Sustainable suburbs not only focus on saving energy and natural resources, but also focus on increasing the well-being of those who use those spaces, adding to their comfort, enhancing their experience, boosting their productivity, and improving the quality of their lives while simultaneously reducing demands on the environment. It’s a win-win.

5. RESILIENT DESIGN

Emergency resiliency and disaster preparedness is key when it comes to retrofitting suburbs. Suburbs built and designed to withstand natural and man-made disasters follow the latest Building Codes and use resilient design in order to keep people safe and structures standing. Here are some applications and considerations that can be used to create resilient suburbs:

  • Life-saving natural heating and cooling options in the event of a power outage, including proper insulation and natural ventilation.
  • Backup systems on high floors, off-grid heating and cooling, daylighting techniques, and other resources to keep structures operational and comfortable for people when power outages occur.
  • Durable building envelopes such as sealing, insulation, and moisture protection as well as long-lasting and low-maintenance interiors capable of enduring wear and tear from constant use.

RETROFITTING FOR A BETTER FUTURE

Retrofitting suburbs is a process that involves community input, accessibility, sustainability, and resilience with the objective of creating new opportunities, healthier communities, and a higher quality of life for those who live in them. It connects communities and creates thriving suburbs. More importantly, retrofitting suburbs allows for a better suburban future for all.

FURTHER READING: 5 REASONS PROPERTY DEVELOPERS SHOULD PARTNER WITH AN ARCHITECTURE FIRM

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