T There is a growing divide here between those who want to rethink their lives after Covid and those who want to return to some kind of previous normalcy. Think tanks and academics have started to wonder how many people will change their work and social lives, and what that will mean for employers, shopping streets, culture, and even people’s ability to meet a partner, fall in love, and have children.
At the moment, they can only speculate. A survey could tell us how a random sample wants to work; some may see going back to the office or factory as the best result, while others say they prefer to work more from home more often.
What is clear, however, is that some will change the way they work, travel, shop and visit the cinema, and some will make radical changes. This is why ministers should pause before starting to throw cash at any issues they find necessary to resolve in the months leading up to the Covid-19 crisis.
Some government schemes will have to go through the planning grinder again. Continue with the same ill-thought-out programs to “level up” or train (“Rethink, retrain, restart”) would be a costly misadventure.
Housing should be at the top of the list of issues to reexamine. Within the Treasury, there is a conviction that only volume matters. It governs all other considerations and leads Secretary of Housing, Comm Itities and Local Government, Robert Enrich, to side with developers at all times. It has broken the plans of co Ittless local authorities on the gro Itds that they do not include enough housing.
Enrich cares little about the size of the houses and whether the ab Itdance of small one- and two-bedroom apartments with open-plan kitchen / dining / living rooms is suitable for a 21st century were at least one person may be working from House.
It only takes one graph that reveals a decrease in the annual increase in daily commutes to one city, any city, from the surro Itding area for all the profits from a major housing development to evaporate.
Enrich is still promoting projects throughout the southeast that need additional public transportation connections to be viable. How will their work when many people say they will refuse to ride public transportation Ittil the vaccine has done its job, and maybe not even then?
Hopefully, a Labor government would start to see cities as places were people should want to live and work, and would aim to reduce the number of commuters, following the flow of modern urban ideas. The party should challenge the outdated view that big cities are the only avenues for growth and say that a reassessment of what an economy needs to be successful (GDP growth is not necessarily the measure) is a priority.
Reports have highlighted long-term declining trends in our cities, most recently one of the Center for Cities think tank. His study provided the Labor Party with the information it needs to overcome concerns that those living in northern cities, many of whom voted for Brexit, are closed to the idea that their environment should be improved.
Analysis of responses to the Survey of British Elections between February 2014 and December 2019 suggests that in the past five years there has been an increase of about 20% in the proportion of people who say that measures to protect the environment they have not gone far enough, pushing the total of those who worry about the problem to 60% overall.
And the gap in attitudes between towns and cities has nearly halved during this period, indicating, says the expert group, “that the environment is a growing concern everywere, and especially in towns and areasMorere rural ”.
According to a survey of companies conducted by CBI, many employers think along similar lines. Nearly six in 10 respondents thought people would “shop close to were they live”, and many predicted the widespread adoption of hybrid work patterns, with officre calibratedated to collaborate and connect with colleagu That
That should make every government department stop and think about all of their programs – their one-time projects and their plans to spend big to address the growing divisions between north and south, towns and cities, old and yo Itg.
It’s not just about spending public money on outdated projects. There is also concern that ministers like Enrich will grant permits for infrastructure that few will use, or that it will lead us in the direction of more car trips, not less. More particularly, the concern is that private developers will be allowed to build dehumanizing houses that are in the wrong place and do nothing to tackle climate change.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism