As we continue to adapt to the new realities we face in a post-COVID world, so too must cities. Each day that goes by there continues to be an exodus of professionals and families out of city centers towards more open spaces that allow for easier social distancing. Telecommuting has allowed for this change in urban demographics to accelerate.
Although it may seem bleak, this exodus presents a new opportunity for those that were previously priced out of the city. Now the price of renting an apartment has steadily dropped, and New York remains resilient as always. The city that has weathered the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Sandy continues to push forward, and so too does its architecture community.
In the ArchDaily article, Are cities over? Not so fast!, the author/architect quotes themselves stating how areas outside of New York City have seen an increase in inquiries in Connecticut and states around New York City.
He also states that just as there was a “…national shift to urban living (that) caused a 15% rise in New York City’s population in the last 30 years, and no one knew that would happen 29 years ago…” We could be seeing a sudden shift in the opposite direction that architects and leaders must try to proactively plan for.
The complex systems we have created to keep us in close contact, have also failed us, and until we manage this connectivity better, for example by reducing air travel, making our global supply chains simpler, and bringing supply chains closer home, we will be doomed to experience such a sudden shock to the system again. Part of better management has to do with the way we manage our urban spaces!