A thread is going on amongst the prognosticators on what will happen to the urbanization of the world from here on. Many are predicting that there is a de-urbanization movement ahead, following the shelter-at-home experience in dense cities and the amount of deaths.
That there will be an exodus of white-collar workers, especially, in the short and medium term, “once companies’ remote work routines have been smoothed out, their newly remote-capable employees will have the flexibility to move out of dense cities and into lower-cost areas.”
While some of that is definitely true, especially during the coming recession that follows this crisis, in my non-expert lover-of-cities opinion, this is overblown, post-vaccine. Cities will still be the economic, creative, multicultural hubs of the world.
There is a hopeful side, to rediscover our love for cities, as Justin Davidson writes in a brilliant, long essay in New York Magazine: “I worry about New York, about how long it will take for the artistic infrastructure to regrow, how many storefronts will reopen, how deeply density will be associated with death, whether anyone will be left to pay taxes and keep the libraries open. And yet in my (scarce) optimistic moments, I’m confident that we’ll cherish aspects of city life during these quarantine days: purified skies, a sense of gratitude and solidarity, the audible chatter of birds, the urgent affection for every inch of parkland and public space.”
In that vein, it is well worth sparing half-an-hour to listen to this glorious audio tribute to our cities: Monocle asked its housebound editors and correspondents across the globe — in London, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Milan, Athens, New York City, and Tokyo — to reflect on what they cherish about the places in which they live and to pen a love letter to their cities. The result, one of the best pieces of audio wanderlust about the cities we live in and our favorite cities we long to visit again.