Some of our major cities are experiencing loss of business and density in their downtown centers, which have been used as major building blocks for sustainable urban development.
In many metropolitan areas, stores are relocating to the suburbs where shorter commutes help reduce automobile pollution and energy consumption. On the other hand, home energy use has increased due to the pandemic which is keeping residents in their homes for both work and play.
With the retreat of businesses - especially small businesses - from downtown centers, cities such as Baltimore, New York, and Chicago have experienced significant job losses. To stabilize city centers, Federal subsidies could be provided to keep commercial facilities from relocating to the suburbs, thereby reducing sprawl and stabilizing urban employment. Local tax subsidies could also be used to keep businesses from migrating to the suburbs.
As cities work to solve sustainable urban development in the face of the pandemic, mass transit should be upgraded to entice suburbanites to patronize city centers once again and re-energize neighborhood bustle.
With more than two-thirds of humanity calling cities their home, robust downtown activity is essential to retain a decent quality of life.
Daryan Shamkhali via unsplash.com