Will a Liberated Workforce Still Need Cities?

Kaid Benfield investigates the rise of a more independent and nimble workforce, and ponders what the new economy means for the shape of cities as we enter an urban epoch

Benfield quotes Thomas Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, on the changes to the physical environment that a liberated workforce will demand.

According to Fisher, "The next economy, though, may look more like the way in which people lived and worked prior to the industrial revolution, in which home, office, and shop co-exist in some combination of physical and digital space. This may require rethinking our zoning laws to allow for a much finer-grain mix of uses and repurposing buildings designed for single functions that will have no tenants or buyers if they remain that way."

Benfield argues that, while cities may no longer be necessary to maximize manufacturing efficiencies, they will be essential in providing the amenities to attract and encourage the creativity (paraphrasing Richard Florida) required for the new economy.

Full Story: What does the new economy mean for the shape of communities?



Chasing Jobs Means Renting, but Renting What!?

the rise of a more independent and nimble workforce

I guess that's one way to name it. I call it "chasing around temporary jobs", and that means more rentals and less home buying.

Whether that will translate into apartments in the newly-gentrified, glistening area of a city or renting a SFD in the same place where in misty days of Donna Reed yore they used to buy is anyone's guess.



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