How will our experiences in 2020 shape the future of our towns and cities?
Here are few things, I’m watching for:
Population growth in small towns — Small towns are often more walkable, charming, and more affordable places to live. But they generally lack the conveniences of larger cities and suburbs. With the increase of e-commerce usage and remote work possibilities those inconveniences drastically go down.
Apartment buildings with office spaces — As more people have learned they can do their jobs remotely, the home office space becomes a drastically more important factor when it comes to renting. Apartment buildings will need to find innovative ways to accomodate for work-life needs.
Shared offices amongst different corporations — As office space becomes occupied part-time by employees the best way to maximize the real estate would be to rotate scheduled office days between different companies. This would create a whole new set of policy and legal challenges, but the financial incentives might be worth it.
Workspaces in shops and restaurants — Shops that once relied on business generated by the afterwork happy hours and the lunch-time rush may never see business generate consistently like it once did. However, as people look for a change-of-pace in their work environment these shops can offer an interesting alternative.
Proximity to work is a substantial factor in determining where we live. Our towns and buildings have been designed around this constraint. What happens when the parameters are loosened?