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Boarded-up stores, shuttered restaurants, bars and coffee shops and empty office towers: COVID-19 has emptied many city centers around the world as company employees work remotely. Is this a good thing for any city? What are some ways to bring economic activity and "buzz" back to business districts in the post-coronavirus era?

13 Comments

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Have stories on the news and media that it’s now ok to resume such activities and no one has a risk of getting COVID-19. That should be enough.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If covid has hollowed out cities and gotten people to reconnect with the country I can hardly call that a bad thing

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Experience after previous lockdowns has shown people can’t wait to go out shopping and socialising again.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Good or bad, we're in a pandemic so it's really shoganai.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Learn to live (or die) with the virus. Sad as it is, it is here to stay.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What are some ways to bring economic activity and "buzz" back to business districts in the post-coronavirus era?

The gobsmacking obvious one is to lower the rents and real estate values to whatever the new level of demand is. Even if the move to teleworking is permanent, business districts are still well located in city centers. They are not mining towns built around now-empty mines.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Easy. You give everyone a billion and then we all bring economic activity back to the city like never seen before. lol

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The problem will take of itself once the coronavirus is eliminated. A year or two after it is gone, people will get bored with working from home, not talking to anyone all day except by Zoom or email. Many will want to go back to the office for a few days a week. Some are happy teleworking, yes, but the social interaction, deskside chats and spontaneous exchange of ideas can’t be done online.

Returning to the office has already begun in central business districts in Australian cities.  Small businesses like coffee shops, bars, etc need that breakfast, lunch and after-work drink trade. They are an integral part of a business district’s economy

City centers are the heart of every city in the world. It is depressing when they look like ghost towns, just like empty hotel lobbies or airport terminals.

One thing big companies (or building owners) could do to attract employees back to the office is to offer a work environment they can’t get at home, something more than just a place to send and receive emails and have meetings. Companies could tie up with sports clubs to have small gyms in the building; each floor could have a coffee bar, or relaxation corner; even a recreation center for taking breaks. Possibly a small day care center also for employees with young children.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The pandemic has merely accelerated an existing trend; companies have had highlighted the cost benefits of the majority of office workers homeworking. For some undoubtedly creativity is enhanced by interaction and exchange of ideas cut the majority of office workers simply are not in that kind of job. The probability is that many firms will down size their office requirements to make savings and that will force a reduction in price.

City centres are going to change, there will be less need for food/coffee outlets etc so the numbers will naturally decrease. Revitalisation of city centres will mean change not trying to do more of the same. Empty commercial premises need to be converted to housing, bringing life back in to the city centre over a longer period of the day. The businesses and services needed/operating in the centre will change to suit the new needs.

As we tackle climate change and the air/environmental quality of life in the newly enlivened city centre other environmental and life needs will necessitate both physical and use redesigning of the city.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm not familiar with economy. As a general perspective, bringing people to cities is necessary to revive the economy. However, it is important to shift our social relationship, which we are working for the counter measure of the infection, into the one as a general manner. Then, people enjoy shopping, eating out, or socializing with others under shared common sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once the pandemic is over, the business will spring back to life. People are hoarding cash, and they cannot wait to get back out to travel and enjoy themselves. The only problem I think would be the prices, business took on alot of debt, so expect things to be rather expensive as the business try to recoup some of their huge losses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Start the vaccinations. Japanese are very social people and are ready to go back to bars and restaurants asap.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agree with Aly, reducing the congestion in cities is actually a good thing. Not a financial expert but I think once this pandemic is behind us, businesses should encourage a week-long (or probably longer) Boxing Day-esque sales or other promos that will encourage spending, for recreation and for utilities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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