I doubt anything will look different, except for more sprawl. If I look at my home town 30 years ago, it's essentially the same. In 30 years we just widened the freeway and added a bunch of new housing developments and some shopping centers.
Thirty years isn't enough time to effect major changes.
Did you guys read the James Altucher piece "NYC is dead forever -- here's why"? It sheds light on the most adverse impacts of the Covid pandemic on NYC. It is difficult to argue against his points as well. With so many restaurants and businesses being permanently closed down, coupled with the mass exodus of people, NYC might just cease to be the throbbing city it was until March 2020. An unimaginably large number of office buildings have remained empty, and companies have no incentive to phase out remote work, especially since it saves them money that would otherwise be spent on essential physical infra spending and maintenance. Employees have reported more productivity, thanks to improved bandwidths. So: really no incentive for companies to eliminate remote work. If anything, they're getting more out of employees for the same pay (or reduced pay--depending on the industry you're in).
In sum, the piece argues that cities that were until now Tier 2 may become Tier 1 -- financially and culturally. Work is definitely going to change further. Remote work is highly likely to become the norm, with the exception of brick and mortar industries. For a while now sociologists have also been suggesting that the nature of work would gradually change as we progress further into the 21st century. Homes will be reimagined; home offices will not be an elite thing only. A significant number of people would work remotely. Yet, this is not all rosy. The inability to separate work from home will also mean employers will regulate more than just our "work hours." We are likely to be subjected to increased monitoring. The pandemic, they argue, has only accelerated this process.
I think the world will become more technological and automated. Maybe some service professions will disappear because they will be replaced by computer systems that will do the job much faster.
I also think that there will be almost no uninhabited areas, reduced forests and parks, because more and more new buildings will be built.
But personally, I would like people, and their attitude to the environment, to change, not the environment. So that everyone can finally start thinking about nature, so that they treat the place where they live with respect, do not scatter garbage, do not paint stupid graffiti on houses and do not break public property.
Having little to no wilderness would be an extremely bad thing in my opinion because all it would prove is how humans have disrupted the ecosystem to the point of extincting numerous other life forms to get there.
Moreover the destruction of rainforests and the plankton in the sea would have a fatal long term consequence for animal life on the planet including us.
This is what happens when people live beyond their means and give birth to too many children, it's bad enough that poor parents ended up bringing kids into the world when they couldn't afford to provide for them and then charity and welfare/social services cleaned up after their mess, (this is a comment about parents who both made the willful decision to not use contraception, I'm not making a criticism about women who were raped or had abusive boyfriends) but I wished they would listen for once what people were trying to tell them, it isn't just politics or conservatism, it is very important that people pay attention to the consequences decisions have on the world around them.
Environmentalism and economics are linked, and if people don't take responsibility for their actions then this species is finished. While I doubt humans would become extinct by the year 2050, I do think more hardships are coming our way if this is the best we can do.
Between future pandemics, climate change, and rising income/wealth inequality, I presume many will be hanging on for dear life.
Climate change is an absolute non-issue. We're talking about 2 feet of sea level rise in the next hundred years. How many cities are 2 feet or less above sea level? Hell, even VENICE will survive that.
Income inequality is also a non-issue. Poor people are getting richer. What happens to rich people is of no consequence.
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416 stone 296 stone slab (150 blocks) 149 stone stairs (228 blocks)
More optimistically major cities may be smaller and less industry diverse.
Rail hubs and harbors will always create population concentrations, but many other types eg info workers don't need to be in actual proximity to each other.
This effect was already starting pre lockdown and will likely accelerate (particularly if VR becomes both good and cheap).
Good, cheap VR would also make online shopping more competitive with brick and mortar and using VR for both shoppers and sellers would be cheaper and safer (including the lower chance of looting).
Another major factor is what predictions one believes for H. sap population: 10Billion+ and hive cities to maximize arable land available for food production become more likely whereas a return to 4-6Billion would more likely be more (but much smaller and lower density) settlements. [And post apocalpse scenarioes (war or societal collapse) would result in 'cities' of <100K aka hovels in the ruins.]
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DO NOT PM me, I am currently locked out of the PM system.
"Why does everything have to be so stoopid?" Harvey Pekar (from American Splendor)
WARNING: I have an extemely "grindy" playstyle; YMMV — if this doesn't seem fun to you, mine what you can from it & bin the rest.