26 Aug 2020

How changing urban streetscapes reflect post-COVID 19 outdoor cultural trends

Could a lasting legacy of 2020’s coronavirus pandemic be vastly different looking outdoor urban spaces designed around socialising? A recent article by the World Economic Forum predicts so, as planners, local authorities and property owners and developers adapt to create the right kind of spaces for culture and hospitality to flourish, whilst at the same time mitigating the risks of further COVID-19 spread and related disruption.

We are already seeing major roads in towns and cities adapted to create permanent cycle lanes to reflect a growing appetite amongst commuters and shoppers to use their bikes rather than public transport or driving, but that is just the start. Many streets are being reclaimed for outdoor dining, food and retail, which to be done safely and cost-effectively in the long term calls for the infrastructure for power, gas, water and more to be a more permanent configuration, rather than relying on temporary kit such as portable generators.

Our streets are no longer just roads

The transformation is happening around the world, including in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. The way its city centre has been changed since the pandemic has been described as creating ‘a giant open-air cafe, with restaurants and bars spilling over into plazas, squares and 18 closed streets to enable responsibly distanced socializing’.

The World Economic Forum speculates as to whether unlocking public spaces as real-estate assets could be key to boosting economic recovery from COVID-19 as they usher in a new age of outdoor entertaining and change the way we use our cities. In the UK, this could certainly be the case, with the hospitality sector rapidly changing and giving our urban streets a more continental feel than ever.

Vital to get the power and services infrastructure right from the outset

Equipping these outdoor spaces properly and making them a desirable place to relax, socialise, eat and drink requires a joined-up approach. Outdoor technology such as high quality entertainment systems, lighting, tills and order points can all be easily powered and utilised to allow the indoor experience to be taken outside, as and when the weather and timing permits.

Setting up and connecting equipment using a pop-up, retractable service unit or in-ground service unit easy, safe and quick, and that is why more property owners are specifying these solutions than ever before. And with Pop Up Power Supplies® at the forefront of these solutions, the increase in interest from architects and property owners is noticeable since the end of lockdown.

The Pop Up Power Supplies® range of retractable and in-ground service units is helping clients achieve their goals to create a high quality, professionally equipped outdoor experience. Pop up service units are raised from the ground easily using a simple turning handle when required and hidden away when they are not. In-ground, flip-lid service units are equally simple to access and use, with the advantage of being permanently submerged and useable with the lid locked to prevent unauthorised access or vandalism.

The complete range of service units is available in our pop up units and in-ground units pages, all backed by our specification advice and technical guidance. Please contact Pop Up Power Supplies® to find out more.