For many workers worried about the coronavirus — and employers looking to cut costs during the economic crisis that has followed — technologies like video conferencing, shared documents and instant messaging provide viable alternatives to high-rise office buildings.
Meanwhile, services like video streaming and social media and websites like Reddit and Twitter offer a taste of the cultural effervescence and community that has drawn so many to the big city over the centuries. You don’t even need a bar or club to meet the love of your life: Apps like Tinder, Bumble or Grindr are happy to link you to a potential mate.
“This pandemic has the potential to really affect cities,” said Peter Clark, a professor of European urban history at the University of Helsinki. “If there isn’t a second wave, the changes may be far fewer than people are speculating. But if there is, we could see the European model of the ‘cultural city’ seriously affected.