Even before the coronavirus crisis, a key topic of debate among town planners was how to create a sustainable, healthy urban environment that is easy to get around by either walking or cycling.
The idea of the 15-minute city. A concept developed by Sorbonne Professor Carlos Moreno, which advocates the creation of a city of neighbourhoods, in which workers find everything they need in terms of work, retail and leisure within 15 minutes of their home. In a work context, this would see offices added to neighbourhoods that lack them so people could work closer to where they live. There would also be local co-working hubs, enabling them to come together for meetings and to collaborate when necessary.
Cities will move away from their current role as large employment centres surrounded by dispersed residential communities. Instead as employers repurpose and, in many instances, downsize their offices and more high street stores become vacant, there will be an increasing shift towards city-centre living.
At the same time, amenities, which include co-working spaces, will improve markedly in the suburbs, with people choosing to live in one environment or the other, depending on their preference and life stage. This situation will go hand in hand with a shift in the traditional office function.
Photo: Dan Cristian Padure