Despite a global pandemic and harsh lockdowns the scale of human movement is stunning. In India lockdowns and economic issues have seen mass movement back to villages from the cities. Against the norm Europe has seen a reduction of the freedom of movement from its normal higher rate. Within the United States however a interesting development has been exposed during Covid19. People are fleeing numerous cities. New York is the perfect example of this with droves individuals who are able to escape the city doing so. This raises questions about the sustainability of locations that are nationally and internationally well known. Questions are growing with how nations are going to deal with this unprecedented movement. It places pressure on different parts of society. This all the while occurring as changes from business theory, social thinking and technology show no signs of stopping.
No Need For Office
Firms have sent their workers home on mass. While it is possible that a decent amount will come back, some never will. Savings from the reduction of expensive office space will be appealing if issues from working away from the office are dealt with. At a time where many firms are needing cuts in their budgets, this represents a trendy way to do so. Even if eventually they are forced to come back it could calm shareholders or even become a short term shareholder expectation.
The less firms that remain in physical locations, the less it appeals to other firms. It could even be seen as a negative if a business still needs to work physically. Even if inefficiencies or negatives exist then they could be pushed into the background. A more cynical reason for adoption could be due to big business wanting to increase the startup costs for smaller firms. It could become another box that they need to tick. Big deals with tech giants could reduce competition and add just another powerful area under the tech masters.
Problems In The Cities
Urbanization has steadily increased across the world. Less people live in the rural areas then ever before. With mega cities become a part of the global landscape and cities even in the West growing steadily more powerful. This has seen entire state elections be flipped due to high density areas within the state. Another interesting element is that cities and the areas outside of them are developing different cultures and believe different ideas. A result is the increase of tensions as people who act differently and want different rules have to work closely together.
Cities themselves have started to loose their benefits that have drawn so many there. Traffic and airpolution ruin areas of the city. Crime, drug abuse and homelessness have grown at a even more alarming rate. Corruption in the city politics has also become more of a problem. The amount of money that these government have behind them is immense and they have also taken on a insane amount of debt. While the foundation for many cities was strong neglect has set in. This represents challenges that could see some well known cities sent into Detroit like situation.
Cities have become the home for most of us. Yet with outflow from the city there is the chance that new ways of living can emerge. Perhaps the small towns that have been fighting to keep people can once again welcome a large amount of population. Power may shift from the cities back to small communities that work together. This may change how our elections turn out and also the discussions that are occurring. Time will tell if this movement is enough to change the trends of more power into smaller locations. Dealing with these trends is going to be a struggle. Solutions will depend where people wish to go as long as freedom of movement is maintained. Infringements of movement are surely too unlikely, although Covid19 raises more questions about that assumption.