Chair of A&DS, Ann Allen writes: At the start of 2020 we were looking forward to our usual busy programme of workshops, engagements and events, all while preparing our corporate strategy for the coming decade. We were planning for this year’s contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale, and closer to home, the launch of our findings from a pilot programme on Place Planning for Decarbonisation. But we all know what happened next.
Year in Review
In this Annual Review you can see that despite the challenges of lockdown, and the closure of our offices, A&DS has continued to deliver high quality and important work. I believe that this year has shown how crucial our work is. Many will have found how the design of their built environment helped bring people together – from the doorsteps where people clapped for carers, through the almost car-free streets to the open spaces and city parks that allowed us to stretch our legs.
Despite the challenges of lockdown, and the closure of our offices, A&DS has continued to deliver high quality and important work.
I hope and believe this experience will start to help people think differently about how their local area makes them feel. What makes them feel positive? What impacts badly on their mental health and wellbeing? Most importantly – how can they have a say in their local areas and an opportunity to influence how it looks and feels?
Working in 2020: How we Adapted Under Lockdown
As we finalised our strategy – due to be launched in early 2021 – we continued to engage with our partners to learn how we could continue to support our places. The response we have had confirms our commitment to the Place Principle and all the benefits this will bring to people on the ground.
None of this would have been possible without the dedication and commitment of our staff and board throughout an extraordinarily challenging year. Childcare, home-schooling, caring responsibilities as well as the general uncertainty and worry that we have all felt have tested us like never before. However, I have been inspired to witness how our staff and the wider A&DS family have met these challenges head on and helped each other. How they’ve learned new skills and adapted others. How they’ve reached out to our partners and found a way to keep supporting them. Above all, how they’ve supported each other and kept the organisation moving forward.
I look forward to 2021 with confidence knowing that we have a fantastic team to rely on and important work to do so thanks to everyone who has contributed this year and here’s to continued success next year. Click here to read Our People’s Stories in 2020