“The question, I suspect, is not whether many who moved to a city for work will head home to smaller towns and suburbs to ride this out. The question is whether they'll ever return. This pandemic could stall or reverse America's urbanization.” – Bonnie Kristian
“When the pandemic and all its related crises finally ebb and we are on the road to recovery a couple of years from now, we will look back and see that the roster of the world’s leading cities is unchanged.” – Richard Florida
Cities have always been the physical manifestation of the economic, social and environmental conditions of our world. For millennia, people have been attracted to cities as places for opportunity: jobs, culture, entertainment, etc. but most of all, the opportunity to connect with other people. The resilience of cities has been tested as of late with the physical distancing regulations of COVID-19. Without the ability to connect with others, face-to-face, as we did before the pandemic, has the role of the cities changed? What does this mean for the future of cities?
Read the following articles and answer the questions below:
“The great coronavirus migration” by Bonnie Kristian
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“This Is Not the End of Cities” by Richard Florida
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Why is author, Bonnie Kristian skeptical about the future of cities post-COVID-19? Discuss two of her main arguments using quotes from the article to support your response.
Why is author, Richard Florida optimistic about the future of cities post-COVID-19? Discuss two of his main arguments using quotes from the article in support of your response.
Based on what you’ve read from these two articles, what is your opinion about the future of cities post-COVID-19? Are you critical about the role of cities now? Do you believe cities will lose their attractiveness and therefore keep people from moving back? Or do you believe that cities have the strength and resilience to eventually overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic?
Key terms (choose at least 5)
central place: settlement in which certain products and services are available to consumers.
central place theory: a theory that seeks to explain the relative size and spacing of towns and cities as a function of people’s shopping behaviours.
centrality: the functional dominance of cities within an urban system.
counterurbanization: the net loss of population from cities to smaller towns and rural areas.
gateway city: a city that serves as a link between one country or region and others because of its physical situation. informal sector: economic activities that take place beyond official record and are not subject to formalized systems of regulation or remuneration.
megacity: a very large city characterized by high centrality within the national economy.
overurbanization: a condition in which cities grow more rapidly than the jobs and housing they can sustain.