Covid-19 has changed the way that towns and cities look. It has offered views of public places with fewer cars and cleaner air, roads you can stroll down, cycling without danger. It has made some things seem more precious, such as green spaces and parks. It has renewed appreciation of the social infrastructures of support and care. It has heightened awareness of the ways in which one person’s actions can affect another’s. It has made everyone more conscious of the ways they occupy space in relation to other people. It has also prompted the idea that big cities have taken a hit from which they won’t fully recover. The virus first appeared in Wuhan, population 11 million, and some of its worst outbreaks have been in New York, London, Milan and São Paulo. Crowds and public transport, goes the theory, are bad for your health. Remote working, boosted by lockdowns, will be here to stay. Balaji Srinivasan, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist summed this view up in a pithy tweet: “Sell city, buy country.”

 

 

.EVO. from UAE [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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