After COVID-19, cities will change forever. Here’s a sampling of predictions I’m seeing:
People will avoid close physical encounters. Or maybe not. Maybe they’ll flock to crowded bars and restaurants after weeks of lockdown.
Stores, bludgeoned by pandemic closings and high rents, will fail. So will smaller, non-chain restaurants. Cities will become blander and more homogenized.
Or maybe this: For a while, small businesses will die and renters will flee. But that will reduce demand, so landlords will lower rents. Newly cheap spaces will lure innovators and entrepreneurs, artists, restaurants and shops to formerly homogenous, high-dollar areas. Their return will reinvigorate neighborhoods once dominated by national chains and luxury homes.