The form, function and the role of cities have been changing for centuries, if not millennia and will always continue to change. This situation is no different for Melbourne. For example, the advent of automobiles has seen the sprawling of the suburbs and the growth of gargantuan shopping malls.
So, what are the likely changes due to Covid19? It’s quite obvious but someone has to say it. Have you noticed that there are a lot more people working from home. Prior to the pandemic, this was a phenomenon that was slowly taking place across workplaces, however has recently taken on proportions never seen before.
This has led to visions of empty city streets being broadcast on the evening news solidifying our communal psyche that something has changed!
Having said that, there are some amazing advantages of working from home which include not having to deal with Melbourne’s notorious traffic whilst being able to knock out the all important work in your PJ’s and dressing gown whilst making breakfast for the kids. So what are the repercussions. Well so far there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that demand for CBD office space is waning and there will be a consolidation as new efficiencies are discovered. Meanwhile the capacity of our telco infrastructure is at breaking point. And the environment? Surely not driving to work is saving on carbon emissions. However, we are finding this is offset by higher energy costs at home. It will be interesting to see where equilibrium in terms of home vs office space rests in the future.
As always, I watch from the side lines to see how things transpire, My guess is that the work from home genie is well and truly out of the bottle