of urban centers is quite problematic. And the pandemic has only sped the decline (though the cogs have been moving for more than a decade).
Yet even before the current downturn, the data defied the bravado. For decades, the ultra-tall towers that once symbolised urban greatness have been as anachronistic as the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Office occupancy has been declining since the turn of the century, along with the construction of new space. In 2019, before the pandemic, construction was one-third the rate of 1985 and half that of 2000.
Things have already changed, and they will change more.
More serious still has been the movement of people. Migration to dense cities started to decline in 2015, when large metropolitan areas began to see an exodus to smaller locales.
… Even the addition last year of a few thousand migrants forced New York Mayor Eric Adams to declare a state of emergency; in other words, New York, a city largely built on the labour of newcomers, now seems too weak to house and employ a substantial number of immigrants.