Urban Building Development: 5 Key Trends

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With the urban population increasing rapidly, the way cities are planned, designed, and built is changing as well. Accommodating the massive influx of residents in urban areas is imperative, and these five urban development trends are something to watch for.

Improving the cities’ walkability scores

Gone are the days when urban planning was defined by cars. Nowadays, the emphasis is being put on the pedestrians and how safe and comfortable they can walk to work, school, or shopping centers. This is defined as the city’s walkability score and the degrees vary from place to place. Some of the major cities with high walkability scores include Paris, Vancouver, and Barcelona, but for those with lower walkability scores, it is possible to make the city more walkable. Improving the accessibility of hospitals, schools, and grocery stores, providing crosswalks, sidewalks, and designated areas for bicycles and pedestrians, as well as incorporating natural landscapes in the city are all effective ways of improving the cities’ walkability scores. As urban planning becomes more people-oriented, we can expect to see more walkable cities in the future.

Incorporating common areas to improve the urban streetscape

For an urban dweller, it is important that they have a place to relax and feel safe while also being able to enjoy the urban setting. As a response, more and more common spaces are becoming integrated into city design as a way of improving the urban streetscape and making it more vital and enjoyable. Ensuring that the needs and expectations of consumers are met is made easier with the help of urban development experts who rely on different features and amenities to create enjoyable common spaces. From providing more sitting areas with free Wi-Fi and properly lit bus stop shelters to incorporating water features, green open spaces, jogging paths, and pet parks into the city’s design, there are many ways to create common areas whether we’re talking about a commercial project or a public street.

Digitalization and embedding of technology in urban buildings

Smart technology is becoming an integral part of urban building design, and it is being used for multiple purposes. For instance, residents can now rely on apps installed on their smartphones to control locks, light switches, and other devices in smart buildings when they’re not at home. Smart home systems can also be used to monitor how much energy is being used while also serving as efficient home security add-ons. Smart technology and digitalization also benefit the cities as computer automation can help lessen peak energy loads, create public transit schedules, reduce crime by assisting the police, and also make it possible for the cities and its residents to stay connected at all times.

Building with sustainability in mind

Reducing the environmental impact of buildings is one of the main goals of community builders these days, and the emphasis is put on building with sustainability in mind. One way to do it would be to rely on more sustainable building materials and systems while focusing on environmentally friendly construction methods to build new structures. Another way to build more sustainably would be to employ eco-friendly landscaping, HVAC systems, and water conservation methods. Sustainably built homes and buildings also consume less electricity and power overall, especially if you’re a homeowner who relies on renewable sources such as the sun to power their home, in which case your solar home system would reduce your carbon footprint significantly and help you live more sustainably. By employing effective environmental solutions, urban planners can help reduce the impacts of climate change and take protective action to ensure a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future of the cities.

Planning for climate change

Flooding, frequent storms, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and wildfires – frequent natural disasters that are the direct result of climate change have made many cities launch resilience plans as a way of coping more effectively in unexpected situations. Many urban areas are now designing disaster-proof buildings as a way of minimizing the effects of unforeseen events. Cities that are more prone to earthquakes can now design earthquake-proof structures as a way of protecting buildings and increasing their ability to withstand such natural disasters to a certain extent. Other ways cities are dealing with the harsh effects of climate change are by offering incentives for the installation of green roofs (reduction of stormwater runoff), developing water and energy microgrids (the ability to operate autonomously), as well as creating designated cooling centers (heat emergency plan).


Smart, safe, dynamic, environmentally conscious, and interconnected – these are some of the key features of the cities of the future. Staying on top of urban development trends is essential since that is the only way to accommodate the changes cities are going through and create a real urban development plan.

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