Back to Normal – Autocase’s post-pandemic call to arms – Part 1

by | May 11, 2020 | Buildings, Economics, Infrastructure, Resiliency

Everyone is hoping to get back to normal but it is becoming increasingly clear that people want things different after the pandemic. A new normal.

There are three definitions of normality – (1) statistical, (2) aspirational, and (3) functional. The new normal may mean any of the above. “Normal” may mean:

  1. “that most of us will go back to most of what we were doing before the pandemic struck”, or
  2. “that our societies will make changes for the better”, or,
  3. whatever is “good for the survival of our communities” (source).

When we are yearning for back to normal now, I think we mean we hope it will be better and not just different from before. Our aspirations are for a better world.

“The new normal, in other words, changes what was wrong but keeps what was right with the old normal. “

As governments spend huge amounts of money, we hope that we don’t get back to normal as soon as possible. Rather we hope we take the opportunity to think, debate, review, and plan for a smart recovery to a better quality of life. For example, using cost benefit analysis to guide stimulus spending.

Our post-pandemic call to arms:

  1. Value the environment: clean air, water, land, trees, green infrastructure, species, habitat and ecosystems.
  2. Be holistic: incorporate hidden costs and spillover effects into decision making.
  3. Value: people and professions based on their societal contributions.
  4. Use the full carbon story: embedded carbon, carbon from construction, operations, and end of life.
  5. Prioritize using triple bottom line thinking: people, planet, and profit.

The next few posts will cover:  Reassessing What is Essential and Important; Setting a New & Better Course; and, TBL-CBA and the Post-Pandemic Stimulus.


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