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Major Cities May Enter Into a “Great Reset,” but They Are not in Danger

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Friday December 11, 2020
Major Cities May Enter Into a “Great Reset,” but They Are not in Danger

People love to speak hyperbolically and the tendency to speak do so is even more apparent in times of crisis; we are in a crisis right now, and so you made have heard many people suggesting that COVID-19 represents the end of major cities in the United States as we know them. To be sure, telework has allowed a lot of people to work remotely, and some of those people have relocated out of cities and to smaller areas. This is a far cry from the “death” of cities. In a recent Wall Street Journal Article, Dr. Richard Florida discusses how rather than being a death sentence to cities, COVID-19 represents a “Great Reset” for cities, suburbs, and communities. This article will briefly summarize Dr. Florida’s article.

Dr. Florida refers to occurrences that remake and recharge economic systems in the wake of crises as “Great Resets;” he argues they do this by creating new methods of working and living that help the economy continue to grow (which is, theoretically at least, always a good thing). By way of example, Dr. Florida pointed to the Cities of Detroit and Pittsburgh after the “Long Depression” in the 2nd half of the 19th century, and suburbanization after World War II and the Great Depression. It appears that beginning with the Great Recession in 2008, we entered into America’s 3rd “Great Reset.”

New York, Los Angeles, London, and other global cities aren’t going anywhere; they will adapt and continue being major population centers. Let’s be clear, major cities have seen deadlier epidemics, full-scale battles, natural disasters, and crippling economic disasters; these cities are all still standing. COVID-19 will force these cities to adapt faster, but those changes were already under way when COVID came to our shores. Smaller cities will adapt as well, aided by the reality that remote work is quite likely the future of employment. Remote technology will certainly allow people to move from big cities to the suburbs without major disruption to their lives, but that is actually good for major cities.

As more people leave major cities for suburbs, aided by their ability to work remotely, many of the woes associated with city living will drop off significantly. For example, most major cities are characterized by absurd commute times; less people mean less traffic. Additionally, smaller “cities” that can’t compete with the major metropolises nearby will be able to provide support as regional office centers and mixed-use communities. To be fair, many of these changes were already underway on their own, but this Great Reset sped the process up.

COVID is a once in a lifetime catastrophe, but the reality is that it is also presenting us an opportunity to rebuild our communities to be better. This is not the end of cities, maybe it is a new chapter in their stories.

At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power and understanding the difference between panic and reality is powerful knowledge indeed. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.

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