Read urbanism expert Richard Florida’s response on how big cities will thrive during the new era of remote work

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Remote work is probably the biggest single effect of the pandemic. It has been building for some time, but it has really been accelerated.

According to the best statistics, we had about 5% of the workforce working full-time remotely before the pandemic and about 20% more likely to work full-time remotely after the pandemic, with about another 20% or 30% likely to work remotely some of the time.

So, it’s a big shift.

But I don’t think remote work by itself is affecting our geography in an extreme way. It is simply accelerating shifts that have been going on for a while. And, of course, the preponderance of jobs amenable to remote work are highly knowledge-intensive. Professional jobs are massively concentrated in big cities in metropolitan areas. So that is why the effect is felt most there.

I think what remote work does is to enable people who might’ve moved to outlying suburbs before to consider moving to entirely new metropolitan areas. So instead of moving to the suburbs of New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, remote workers have the possibility of moving to more affordable places like parts of Texas or parts of Florida.

There are several kinds of remote workers.

The ones that are going to leave big, expensive cities are mainly families. But families have always left big, expensive cities. It just cost a lot of money to have a house in a big, expensive city.

Also, urban schools in the United States are troubled and have been for a while and so people with kids move to the suburbs. My own parents moved from Newark, New Jersey, to an outlying suburb in northern New Jersey way back in the ’60s. This has been going on for more than a half-century.

Young, single people are the ones who move to cities. They’re very important because they’re ambitious and have newly minted skills. This is especially important for engineering talent to have the latest and greatest skills.

They are not going to live in isolated suburbs, they’re not even going to live in small cities. And they’re certainly not going to live in mom and dad’s basement for a while. These people have and will continue to gravitate to big superstar cities.

According to recent research, about half of the urban revival and migration of people into or close to urban neighborhoods has been the result of young people ages 24 to 35. 

The silver lining for places like New York and San Francisco is that the pandemic is making real estate more affordable to this group of people.

I’ve written a bunch of college recommendations this year, and every one of them was for universities in New York City.

These people may work remotely and still live in a big city. I think that’s likely. I think what we’ll see are lots of young people working remotely and living in big cities. Mainly because this is where most of the remote work jobs or jobs that are doable as remote work are located.

So, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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