Interesting reading in the press lately the different views on city / home and office life.  Since COVID hit Melbourne with its multiple lockdowns, most office workers have been directed for considerable periods to work from home – and this may well have introduced workers to attractive options. 

The lockdowns have been devastating to the CBD dining, retail and entertainment scene. 

Melbourne City Council has been pushing to revitalise the City since the 2020 four-month lockdown and it looked like it was finally bearing some fruit.  Then in late May 2021, lockdown 4.0 (and then the extended 4.1) came along and the City is yet again a partial ghost town. 

Many outside the CBD however, appear to be benefitting from working from home – the new culture or a brief aberration?  This has breathed some new life (excluding of course the actual lockdown periods) into suburban activity centres.  Municipalities are claiming this is seeing the emergence (accidently) of the ’20-minute neighbourhood’ that governments have been espousing in recent years.  Has it taken a pandemic to make it a reality or is this just a phase?

Perhaps a shift to a better balance of CBD and suburban life in the coming years will be an outcome of living with COVID as the new normal.  We wonder what if any will be the long term impacts on urban growth, congestion in the CBD, new suburban activity centre changes and so on. 

courtesy The Age