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Tags cities , Covid , urban issues , working from home

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Old 19th March 2023, 10:51 AM   #41
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MailOnline has an article entitled "Oxford Street is CLOSED for business: How London's iconic shopping destination has transformed with dozens of stores now lying empty"

The article is in the form of a photo essay, with before and after pictures of well-known London establishments that are now closed for business. Some of the pictures are quite depressing.
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Old 19th March 2023, 05:32 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That doesn't sound like #DavosStandard at all. What's good for Davos is good for all. And not just when we are talking C-19.
He's been living with long Covid since February 2020? Must have been one of the very first; that's before there was any standard at all.

I do think your idea of putting hepa filters in homeless tents is brilliant.
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Old 19th March 2023, 07:18 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by BrettM View Post
MailOnline has an article entitled "Oxford Street is CLOSED for business: How London's iconic shopping destination has transformed with dozens of stores now lying empty"

The article is in the form of a photo essay, with before and after pictures of well-known London establishments that are now closed for business. Some of the pictures are quite depressing.
I remember that tube stop, not sure if I ever patronized whatever was there in 1976.

Long-term the argument is that ground floor rents will adjust to the new normal, but there does come a tipping point where things spiral out of control. Assuming the surprising laissez-faire economics espoused around here (and not from me!) prevails we could be looking at Escape from New York. In every big city.
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Last edited by Brainster; 19th March 2023 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 19th March 2023, 07:40 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Re: OP: yes, businesses are just now discovering what many of us have known for years: the business model of going to an office for basically no reason whatsoever is kind of stupid and wasteful. Other businesses have formed their business plan based around the aforementioned stupidity and wastefulness. And it seems that they are on track to discover that like a third of their workers are only working to maintain the stupidity and wastefulness , and another third are doing nothing much that needs a human in the first place. In theory, eliminating all this wastefulness should result in a much more streamlined and cost-effective operation that results in lower costs to the end user or consumer. Because that's totally what a corporation would do.

So the resteraunts etc now fact the dilemma that horse and buggy manufacturers faced when cars started rolling out. Move forward and change, or stamp your feet and complain that the way things used to be was more to your wasteful financial benefit.
I agree that we should have moved from the work from home model for lots of reasons before covid. But now that we have, I don't mind saying we are going to face a crisis in our downtowns of potentially catastrophic proportions, that I don't even have a suggestion how to solve. Just get ready.
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Old 20th March 2023, 01:39 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
He's been living with long Covid since February 2020? Must have been one of the very first; that's before there was any standard at all.

I do think your idea of putting hepa filters in homeless tents is brilliant.

You appear to have missed this part:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
That doesn't sound like #DavosStandard at all. What's good for Davos is good for all. And not just when we are talking C-19.

#DavosStandard! It's not just for pandemics anymore!
But do tell us more about how giving up the convenience of working from home will help the homeless downtown.
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Old 21st March 2023, 09:21 PM   #46
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Downtowns need to change.

I always assumed we would move downtown when the kids got out of school. I always worked downtown and hated the commute, so it seemed logical that life would be better if we moved downtown.

Covid made that unattractive. But wfh made it unnecessary. The whole reason I would want to be there is gone. So, time to find a better way to attract business. I’m out, but there have to be others who are willing to be in.

As Darat said above.
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Old 21st March 2023, 10:08 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Downtowns need to change.

I always assumed we would move downtown when the kids got out of school. I always worked downtown and hated the commute, so it seemed logical that life would be better if we moved downtown.

Covid made that unattractive. But wfh made it unnecessary. The whole reason I would want to be there is gone. So, time to find a better way to attract business. Iím out, but there have to be others who are willing to be in.

As Darat said above.
The 15-minute city is the new thing.

Designing cities with suburbs where you can walk or ride to get what you need, rather than drive/commute long distances.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15-minute_city

Limitations & criticism are included at the link, most mentioned here already.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 10:33 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Whether or not the pandemic is "over," the fact is that a lot of office workers have discovered that they like working from home. They have even discovered that they can maintain their employment while living anywhere they want, even way outside commuting distance. And employers have discovered that they don't need to pay for class A downtown office space for every employee. I think it's a mistake to imagine that downtowns will thrive again if only the pandemic would end. The economy has changed permanently.
These argument seem to hinge on how dependent the downtown is on people working downtown. My city's downtown seems to be doing quite well, but it's seen as a destination. A lot of people, who do not work downtown, go downtown for dining and entertainment. There's some office space downtown, but most of the office workers there are government or bank employees.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 01:01 PM   #49
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I can't speak for other cities, but that retail and restaurant space was already struggling because of how bat **** crazy commercial real estate got. And we have had prices outpacing wages for a long time. Its gotten out of hand the last few years. A lot of the problems we have that people are blaming on COVID and lock downs have actually already been a problem or were teetering on the edge. COVID just blew them all up.

No one seemed concerned about those poor small businesses before. And they sure as hell aren't talking about raising for servers or hosts now.

And plenty of cities have had commercial space converted into residential spaces. Does it take time and money? Yes. That's not the real hold up though. The problem is that a bunch of publicly traded companies are holding onto these properties and don't want to front the money for projects that will take longer to turn a profit than next quarter. They don't want to front it.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 04:03 PM   #50
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It's not just a US problem; BBC did an artical about the problems that "High Street" (the UK exact equvilent of the US Main Street" are having.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 08:00 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
The 15-minute city is the new thing.

Designing cities with suburbs where you can walk or ride to get what you need, rather than drive/commute long distances.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15-minute_city

Limitations & criticism are included at the link, most mentioned here already.
In a recent episode of the Skeptics With a K podcast, Marsh pointed and how the exact same conspiracy theorists who complained about COVID lockdowns have now seamlessly pivoted into complaining about the 15-minute city.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 08:34 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In a recent episode of the Skeptics With a K podcast, Marsh pointed and how the exact same conspiracy theorists who complained about COVID lockdowns have now seamlessly pivoted into complaining about the 15-minute city.
I listened to an interview with a 15-minute city planner on the ABC Listen app on that very conspiracy theory.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:44 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
The 15-minute city is the new thing.

Designing cities with suburbs where you can walk or ride to get what you need, rather than drive/commute long distances.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15-minute_city

Limitations & criticism are included at the link, most mentioned here already.
About 40 years ago, Phoenix came up with a similar idea; multiple core areas where higher density development would be allowed; they called it the Urban Villages Plan. But when downtown struggled a bit, they started limiting the development of some of the cores and as a result it never really worked; at the nearest core to me there are almost no office buildings and certainly none that are four stories or higher.

I still pretty much exist in a 10-mile radius from home aside from vacations, and I can find everything I need in that area. But I do live in an urban/suburban neighborhood.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:54 PM   #54
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I'm not even sure what "downtown" is supposed to refer to.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 01:23 AM   #55
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I already posted a link, but maybe this one (Wikipedia) is more to the point. I thought the word originated in New York, but Wiki says Boston.

It has happened more than once and a long time before the alleged "Covid year": Malls and the death of Downtown (Brooklyn Paper, Mar 14, 2011)
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Old 23rd March 2023, 02:42 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm not even sure what "downtown" is supposed to refer to.
Central Business District.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 02:52 AM   #57
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd March 2023, 06:15 AM   #58
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I am disappointed that wasn't a Seinfeld clip
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Old 23rd March 2023, 06:28 AM   #59
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd March 2023, 06:30 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm not even sure what "downtown" is supposed to refer to.
The part of the city that the city has been trying and failing to "revive" for as long as anyone in the city has been alive.

Less flippantly in American parlance "downtown" refers to dense urban cores that in ye' olden days served as the central business district.

As demographics changed they are now mostly older parts of cities, densely packed with things that like government buildings, very old businesses (banks, lawyers, etc) and not much else which makes them feel old and sterile and for some reason cities don't like that.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 06:35 AM   #61
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It can also mean the slumming part of town, as opposed to the upscale parts.

Annoyingly, my town calls it's business district/main street area uptown, and the residential area downtown. This appears to be based on nothing but calling north up and south down.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 06:44 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
It can also mean the slumming part of town, as opposed to the upscale parts.
Well yeah that's the elephant in the room.

My city has a (conceptually and potentially) really nice downtown area. A lot of museums, a pro-sports team, a lot of nice small music venues and bars, a great main library with this amazing map room of maps that go back to the 1700s.

BUT it's one giant open air homeless shelter on a functional level.

And nobody gets (or will admit) that nobody is just going to hang out downtown while that is the case. People will GO Downtown to do something, but they do it and and leave, they don't hang around for the ambiance.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 07:15 AM   #63
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Social philosopher William Joel noted that his Uptown Girl was jonesing for a downtown man.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 05:01 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm not even sure what "downtown" is supposed to refer to.
Think 'Civic'



Or Woden, or Tuggeranong, or Belconnen, or whatever the new one is called.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 05:09 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Think 'Civic'



Or Woden, or Tuggeranong, or Belconnen, or whatever the new one is called.
Yeah, that's the weird thing about Canberra. We've got Civic, which is as far as I am concerned is never referred to as "downtown", but we've also got the large regional centres - as you say Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong and Gungahlin - which isn't as new as we think it is. We've also got smaller regional centres like Kippax, Cooleman, Kambah and Chisolm, and most suburbs also have a local supermarket.

Canberra was a 15-minute city back in the 1970s. The locals started being phased out in the 90s, but they're starting to be revived. So I guess by JoeMorgue's definition they're "downtown" now?
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Old 23rd March 2023, 05:53 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, that's the weird thing about Canberra. We've got Civic, which is as far as I am concerned is never referred to as "downtown", but we've also got the large regional centres - as you say Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong and Gungahlin - which isn't as new as we think it is. We've also got smaller regional centres like Kippax, Cooleman, Kambah and Chisolm, and most suburbs also have a local supermarket.

Canberra was a 15-minute city back in the 1970s. The locals started being phased out in the 90s, but they're starting to be revived. So I guess by JoeMorgue's definition they're "downtown" now?
I was going to post that Canberra predated the 'Garden City' movement, but am shocked to find how far that concept goes back in time!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_city_movement

Quote:
Garden City principles greatly influenced the design of colonial and post-colonial capitals during the early part of the 20th century.
I still miss the benefits.

From the local Vietnamese bakery (which made amazing curries) in Downer, to the local shops in Hughes.

Not to mention being able to cycle everywhere!!!
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Old 23rd March 2023, 05:59 PM   #67
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This has been a problem since the Model T Ford was invented, which made going from a small town to a big city for shopping a lot easier.

Wonderfully referenced in the opening "Rock Island Line" number in "The Music Man".
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Old 23rd March 2023, 05:59 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
I was going to post that Canberra predated the 'Garden City' movement, but am shocked to find how far that concept goes back in time!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_city_movement
Canberra is one of the best exemplars of the garden city, but it's certainly not the ur-example.

Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
I still miss the benefits.

From the local Vietnamese bakery (which made amazing curries) in Downer, to the local shops in Hughes.

Not to mention being able to cycle everywhere!!!
I used to be surprised that of all nationalities it was Vietnam that made the best fresh bread. Then I found out how long Vietnam was occupied by the French. Of course they make good bread!
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Old 23rd March 2023, 06:05 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Canberra is one of the best exemplars of the garden city, but it's certainly not the ur-example.

I used to be surprised that of all nationalities it was Vietnam that made the best fresh bread. Then I found out how long Vietnam was occupied by the French. Of course they make good bread!
Best French bakaries here in Sacramento are all owned by Vietnamese. One makes the most incredible crossants.
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Old 26th March 2023, 03:56 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by BrettM View Post
MailOnline has an article entitled "Oxford Street is CLOSED for business: How London's iconic shopping destination has transformed with dozens of stores now lying empty"

The article is in the form of a photo essay, with before and after pictures of well-known London establishments that are now closed for business. Some of the pictures are quite depressing.
The Heil shouldn't have so enthusiatically cheered tory policies down the years which hollowed out the high street. Bet you they didn't mention that in the article.
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Old 26th March 2023, 04:18 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
The Heil shouldn't have so enthusiatically cheered tory policies down the years which hollowed out the high street.
Which policies are you referring to?
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Old 26th March 2023, 02:20 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It's not just a US problem; BBC did an artical about the problems that "High Street" (the UK exact equvilent of the US Main Street" are having.

Apropos of nothing in particular, the main street of the town I grew up in (Morgantown, WV) is named High Street.
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Last edited by quadraginta; 26th March 2023 at 02:21 PM.
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