Sunday, May 23, 2021

On the post-pandemic future of cities

Bloomberg has an optimistic vision of the post-pandemic central business district (CBD), as more work from home, and density has come to be associated with disease:

... The CBD can no longer function as a collection of low-end grab-and-go cafeterias, chain coffee shops, restaurants and salad bars. To evolve and survive, its offerings will have to become more local, authentic and actively curated. A day at the office will be spent less in a single building and become more like a localized business trip, with maybe an onsite meeting, checking some emails at an outdoor workspace, doing a group fitness session with colleagues, and taking some offsite meetings over lunch or coffee. The downtown expert David Milder dubs this as a shift from the old Central Business District to what he terms the Central Social District, in which workers and people meet, collaborate and socialize together. As I see it, the Central Business District will evolve into a hub in a system of more decentralized Neighborhood Business Districts that span from the city center out to the suburbs and rural areas. Far from being dead, the CBD is perhaps the single best place to be transformed in this way. 

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