One of the big stories in these Covid-19 times has been the consequences of ‘working from home’. The obvious one is that people do not use city centres, and the businesses that reply on passing trade are hit badly. The ‘poster child’ for this phenomenon has been the sandwich chain ‘Pret A Manger’; but, it is a symptom of a bigger problem, and question of what will cities look like in the future , and how will the survive?
Andy Pratt was interviewed by The Guardian for an article on this topic last weekend. Andy stressed the need to understand the current crisis in the context of the changing patterns of work, and work organisation; that is the intensification of work and nomadic work of freelance labour that requires us to ‘grab food and go’, or use coffee or sandwich shops as temporary offices. Andy has been looking at these changes for many years, and his comments were based upon a report that he wrote for the Government Office for Science, Foresight, which explored the changing nature of culture and cities in the last 50 years; and develop scenarios for the next 50 years.