The current time is a curious mix of short-term, mid-pandemic adjustments that will be temporary, and long-term seismic shifts that will change the game forever. The million-dollar question is knowing which is which.
The speculation has been widespread during the last 12 months of how there is no going back, what is the new normal, and how practices in living, working, travelling and employment have changed forever.
In terms of how we will live, will we really see the death of the city centre apartment, the rebirth of the old suburbs, the reuniting of families, and will tree changes and sea changes that are seeing regional house price rises out of step with those in the cities that are being deserted mean our tendency to congregate in cities is now over? Some of the forecasts may be overstated. But which ones are and which ones aren’t?
Changes in working practices are widespread right now. But us all working from home for good, or suddenly gravitating to new suburban hubs, and CBDs being deserted forever is already being contradicted by weekday peak hour trip levels back to more than 100 per cent in some places. We don’t appear to be that keen on public transport yet, but parking costs and inconvenience will kick-in again, won’t they?