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Is it wrong to think that the urban area has reached a tipping point due to the new coronavirus?

COVID-19 has changed life in the city.

In the wake of the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), opportunities for face-to-face contact between people have been greatly reduced, and I think this has been the catalyst for a change in the way people used to communicate, from physical contact to face, to a society in which social networking sites will now account for a large percentage of contact.

I don’t think this situation is so short-term.

As many of you are aware, it will probably be a move of restraint and lifting of restraint many times over until the vaccine and the cure are disseminated to the public and the entire world.

And this state of society is expected to continue even after the end of the coronavirus.

While some companies may continue to have a policy of coming to work as normal, if you can prove that you can maintain or even increase your current productivity without coming to work (a practice that should be practiced in many companies), then commuting to work will be a waste of transportation money and a wasteful activity that consumes a great deal of time.

This idea of a society based on the premise of coming to work has fragilely crumbled and is now expected to be It means that I have been doing this for a long time. The society of the future will have to change a lot, and the city will have to be based on commuting. That has to change.
Going to work should not be equated with going to work and going to the office.

Incidentally, I personally think that this is going to be an essential skill to work in this society, except for some industries like production plants where you have to come to work to do your job.

Therefore, those who are unable to keep up with these social changes will likely find themselves in a situation where they have to change jobs sooner rather than later.

It’s hardest on the over 50’s today, who are probably more likely to be unable to keep up with this fast pace of change. I imagine that’s a good thing… It’s no wonder they don’t even pay out severance due to bankruptcy. But that’s why it’s an opportunity, and that somewhere along the way you’re going down a path that you can no longer detour or break down. If you’re thinking about it, take this as an opportunity to try out an industry that’s different from what you’ve been doing. I think it’s also a good idea. (The building industry is good, WW.)

Back to the story, there is no doubt that we are at a time when the city is changing.

Urban planning classifies land use into three major categories: commercial, industrial and residential.
This is an urban planning map of Mito. Red is for commercial use, yellow and green are for residential use, and light blue is for industrial use, but the commercial area is centered around Mito Station, which is the center of the city, with residential areas around it and light blue industrial areas in the suburbs.

Source: Mito City Planning Map

Based on the major premise of “getting from home to work”, we have been building urban facilities such as roads, parks, sewage systems and railroads that are necessary for cities.

However, with the appearance of the new coronavirus, which breaks down this normalcy, we have been able to put a stop to the promotion of urban development through conventional urban planning.

In urban planning, the area of commercial and industrial zones is determined by calculating future retail sales and shipments of manufactured goods based on these projections, and the results are reflected in urban planning.

In fact, many of us have experienced that if you are at home and want something, you can find it online, even if it’s not sold locally.

It’s easy to imagine that people are less likely to go to the city center and less likely to buy clothes at the shopping malls themselves.

If this situation continues, they will not need so much commercial land, so they will think about reducing it and making it more residential and industrial. The overcrowded population density in rural areas is less, but the overcrowded population density of Tokyo will be eliminated a little. Maybe. Furthermore, the demand for office floors will probably be greatly reduced.

Up until now, increasing population and population density has increased jobs and wages and made it a certain status for many dreaming young people to move to the big cities, but I see it as proving that nothing is necessary to interact with a city with a high concentration of population.

So if you ask me what will happen to the ‘urban type’ from now on, I can only say that it’s unclear.

However, urban planning has not only considered conventional urban development either.

A new initiative, the Smart City Super City, a movement to change the nature of cities using the latest technologies including Iot, cloud, AI and blockchain, has been underway rapidly in the last couple of years.

I think this new urban movement is just as well linked to the societal transformation of trying to increase productivity while reducing the number of face-to-face cases caused by the new coronavirus, while also solving urban challenges.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) is leading the way in promoting smart city initiatives, and domestic companies are actively working in cooperation with local governments to realize smart cities.

The spread of the coronavirus was just faster than the spread of smart cities.

However, some experts are of the opinion that smart cities are counter to compact cities, and some local governments are quite negative about them, so I guess they are the kind of people that land myths and analogue believers bring to the table.

I think it will eventually die out naturally.

It’s quite an abstraction, but I think it’s clear that the key to the future of urban development will be how to make smart cities and compact cities work together.

A compact city is an attempt to maintain population density by compacting an overly sprawling city in a regional city, but what a compact city aims for is physical urban compactness, whereas a smart city doesn’t necessarily require people and things to be physically connected.

The two extremes make it easier to handle as a method of controlling a city, but it takes a long time for a city to physically change, and it is unlikely that it will change in a few years.

In the future, as the demand for floor space for shops, restaurants and offices in the commercial sector declines, there will be surplus space in the central city, especially in regional cities, and I think it will be desirable to use that land as a space to implement a smart city.

This is where I want to end this article. What I wanted to convey in this article is that the place of the city is going to change dramatically. If we keep an eye on this, we can prevent regressive building investments.

See you soon~ Twitter (@yama_architect)

I am not familiar with English, but from now on, I would like to send my message to the people of the world little by little.

【資格】一級建築士、一級建築基準適合判定資格者、宅建士など 【実績・現在】元国と地方自治の役人:建築行政・都市計画行政・公共交通行政・まちづくりなどを10年以上経験 / 現在は、地元でまちづくり会社を運営し、都市に関わるコンサルタントや住宅設計、執筆活動を行っています。