“Fund manager Schroders will allow thousands of its employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic, marking a huge shift in the way the City works.
In a recent interview, Schroders’ chief executive Peter Harrison said the pandemic had “changed society irrevocably”.
“The contract between society and business has changed forever,” he said. “The office will become a convening place where you get teams together, but the work will be done in people’s homes.”
This is likely to raise fresh fears among government figures that the shift in working patterns triggered by coronavirus will be permanent.” City am.
This illustrates the change being considered currently and the scale of that change. We are possibly seeing peak metropolitan life. While the Schroders decision is covid provoked, there are other carbon emission issues which will erode metropolitan life.
As my book, Zero Carbon Our Choice describes, Metropolitan areas contribute to emissions but are poor at emission mitigation, ie in terms of renewable power investment in particular, and conversion to non carbon heating is more challenging in higher rise buildings. The changes will be enormous, if Schroders and other firms adopt this business model then city CBds will be hollowed out (walk round the City of London to check this out). The ancillary service jobs will migrate or disappear. Demand for public transport will decline (many systems are radial from the CBD or focussed on it).
Cities are considering how to replan for a low or zero emission future. Paris is considering a “15 minute city” where you can walk to all your daily needs. There is no reason why employment patterns will not follow this. This means that cities will need to create a planning strategy to make these changes over the next decades.
Smaller cities will find it easier to adapt to this future and it is not surprising that the press is full of stories about the attractions of non metropolitan life. If Covid is making people consider the scale of change we see, thinking about zero emissions will require even more dramatic change.
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