Richard Florida, an urban theorist whose series of bestselling books on the “creative class” have described the influx of young professionals and artists who have revived cities on the coasts — and, increasingly, between them as well — thinks that childless creative professionals will keep coming to cities. At the same time, the experience of being cooped up in an apartment with small children while under social distancing orders might persuade some families to decamp to the suburbs.
That’s especially true if social distancing rules end up having to remain in place for one to two years, as some epidemiologists predict, rather than one to two months.
“It depends on who we’re talking about and how long it lasts,” said Florida. “If it’s a family with young kids, the thing that might drive people out of the city is the desire for private amenities, like being able to let the kids play in a backyard. For young people, I think they’re coming to cities. If I want to make my career in media, entertainment or finance, I’m not going to live in the boondocks.”