November 29th 2020 - De-urbanisation

in LeoFinance •  2 months ago 

Mumbai (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Predictions about future are notoriously thankless, but some trends seem more obvious than others. That could be applied to some of the long-term social and economic consquences of COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most talked about is apparent exodus of population from the big cities, at least those who can still afford to settle somewhere else. The most quoted example is New York, which, according to some estimates, in few months of 2020 lost nearly 500,000 ihabitants, mostly those belonging to upper strata of society.

While COVID-19 played its part, big cities shedding their inhabitants - a trend contrary to everything that happened in modern industrial world in past 200 or so years - is not entirely unexpected. Something like de-urbanisation was in the cards for a long time, even in the most affluent cities, which were becoming less and less affordable or pleasant place for living to increasing sections of their populations. Modern technology, which allowed work from home, was beginning to take away peoples' need for life in big cities. With COVID-19 accelerating those trends, hours of daily commute and insanely high rents became untolerably high price for the privilege of merely being called "New Yorker" or "Londoner". And the consequences of ecomomic crisis created by COVID-19 that take form of higher crime rates and potentially violent and destructive social strife are making life in big cities even less desirable.

One of the thing that could slow down those trends is the prospect of COVID-19
becoming fact of life, which also include lockdowns and curfews that would keep masses of people in big cities whether they want to move or not. And some of the agenda heavily promoted by the worlds' establshments in pre-pandemic days included even more radical urbanisation. People were supposed to live almost exclusively in the big cities, because big cities were more "vibrant" and, unlike bigoted small communities, made people more tolerant, open-minded and ultimately more reliant on each other. And the aims of so-called "Great Reset" could be achieved much easier if the millions and billions of people are forced to live in limited spaces where they can be controled and manipulated more easily.

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I think that in these times the cities are developing themselves on horizontal, rather than vertical. But they are still growing and are including sub-urban zones in their expansion. And when the time comes those might move to vertical once again. You cannot stop the cities as those are where the money is and everybody will hunt it.

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