Just as more provincial locations are turning high-street shop fronts into co-working spaces, big cities’ central business districts are going to have to become more residential. Another version of a 15-minute neighbourhood.
“We are seeing the death of an old central business district, but out of the ashes the creation of a new one,” urban studies theorist Richard Florida said in a virtual address to the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. He believes there will be a 20 per cent reduction in the demand for central office space, opening up the possibility of a downtown that’s less about the daily grind and more about social interaction. Instead of having a city centre, where we work, and a spread of suburbs, where we sleep, these areas will merge, he says, becoming a collection of 15-minute neighbourhoods.