News / 19-Oct-23

What will the next 50 years bring?

Written by Josh Cole
What will the next 50 years bring?

To mark our 50th anniversary the practice has been looking to the future, as well as reflecting on the past. 

Focussing on the three headings of People, Place and Planet, we considered what lies ahead for architecture and the built environment in the South West, posing the question :

"In 50 years' time, wouldn't it be wonderful if ... ? "


There were more high quality and unique training and educational opportunities available within our region. Building upon the existing knowledge and resources within the county, Cornwall can retain and attract an even more productive work force.

Our neighbourhoods were better connected and became more intergenerational and diverse. Town centre historic regeneration centred around re-use of existing spaces to provide inclusive spaces for all generations.

3D printed technology was used to deliver affordable housing more efficiently. Manufactures and suppliers to deliver systems within the region and expanding the workforce.


We knew where all our food came from as we sourced and processed it locally, both from the land and sea that surrounds us. Growing areas are integrated and managed within local communities, giving a sense of ownership and reducing carbon footprints.

Our coastal villages, towns and cities were resilient to sea level rise. Learning from Scandinavia with floating architecture and houses on stilts. Creating innovative ways to address the housing shortfall and to support future generations.

We create the next generation of outdoor lidos that are powered by renewable energies. Improving flood defences to protect town centres, safeguard local fishing industries and creating safer recreational spaces for our communities.


Improvements to public transport meant that our towns and villages became better connected, giving them a chance to grow and flourish. Greater connectivity unlocks more social & economic opportunities for local communities.

Our towns and cities were less dominated by cars and spaces previously used for parking became community gardens and green spaces. Our streets become dedicated and civic assests utilised for village and town car charging areas.

Our empty highstreets and buildings were repurposed for leisure, hospitality and civic uses, giving them a new lease of life. Whilst retaining and respecting historic architecture, new interventions are formed to unlock future potential.

Animation showing thoughts on the future of architecture and the built environment in the South West

Meet the Author

Pt. II Architectural Assistant
Josh Cole
BA(Hons)  MArch   Josh joined Poynton Bradbury Architects in 2014, finishing... Read More

BA(Hons)  MArch  

Josh joined Poynton Bradbury Architects in 2014, finishing top of school with first-class degrees and a master's at the University of Plymouth.  Josh has worked on major projects across a range of public sectors, as well as for private clients and businesses, including arts and cultural projects, workplaces, intricate one-off-houses and extensions.

Josh’s has particular expertise and specialist skills in planning, and holds a keen interest in sustainable, context-considered design.

Josh is part of the practices marketing working group, wellbeing working group and is passionate about inspiring the next generation of architects. He is also responsible for our work experience programme, coordinating and managing work placements for local schools and colleges.

Email Josh

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