We will all read a host of predictions for how the home of the future will look different. The pandemic may change behavior. But given that in New York City, you live in 100-year-old homes, and in London they live in 400-year-old homes, and in Jerusalem they live in 1000-year-old homes- I venture to guess that many things will also stay the same.
Societal changes have usually done more to change behavior. For example, shifts away from domestic help have opened up the kitchen. We live very differently than we did when many buildings were built here.
Technology has shrunk the size of things in our homes, or eliminated things altogether.
Many architects have tried to change how we live, probably far less successfully than other ongoing trends themselves have made their impact.
And so, here we are, in 2020 during a time when New York hasn’t physically shrunk, but many have fled to houses outside the city. What new ideas and ways of living will they try to import?
And to that end, what else will change and what will stay the same?
I’m going to look for trends in the way we live in New York City. This is certainly the very beginning of a conversation about the future of New York City.
I am blessed in that my clients come from all aspects of business and culture. Writers, thinkers, professors, musicians, professional entrepreneurs, lawyers, non-profit runners. People forever looking over the horizon, trying to make sense of it all.
You’ll forgive me for thinking that public conversations about the future of New York will be more thought-provoking and inspiring than just a few trite ideas of what could be.
Here are just a few of the topics and things I’m thinking about and some of the questions that I’m asking today…
How will Technology Improvements change the way that we live in New York?
The internet will shift to 5G. Our ability to integrate the fullness of the internet into our lives will dramatically shift the way we interact. TV’s on the wall will be even more interactive. Work at a distance, or “WFH” as we now call it, will feel more robust. Apartments will continue to take advantage of more things moving online, leaving fewer “things” to have around. That said, so many things cannot be replaced with tech. Making coffee in the morning, and all of its sensory delight, will not be replaced, even though the technology is well in place. So, what will be the improvements, specific to New York and our vertical living?
Apartment Layouts & Architecture
Apartment owners certainly feel the pain of needing quiet to work from home. What will be the design-oriented solutions in the near-term? Will New Yorkers want more solutions? Will they want more space? Will they get it? Whether it’s noice reducing wall and ceiling coverings to quiet rooms, or room dividers, there will be some new options on the market. Design-friendly solutions will certainly be called for, along with much more.
For many New Yorkers, and certainly for an entire generation of younger foodies, people are licking their chops to get back into restaurants. I would think that “Re-setting the Table” will become an opportunity to make restaurants more differentiated. What will happen in the restaurants of late 2020 and beyond? How can they provide more exclusive service, more intense experiences, more full-sensory experiences, with or without crowds?
What will happen will retail? Will a solution start to present itself to re-create vibrant streetlife in neighborhoods across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Beyond? What shopping and experiences can stay local? Assuming that retail is not dead, assuming that there is always something next.
Religious Life and Spirituality
Has anything shifted spiritually inside of people during this time? Will people start to flock again to religious institutions? Will technology-enabled shifts stay in place? How will community come together? How will God play a role in the life of New Yorkers? Will meditation, yoga, self-help seminars, life-coaching, take hold in a more meaningful way and at a greater level?
Will a less expensive New York create opportunity for culture to return, in the form of artists staying or coming back from other places? Will technology-enabled gatherings spell a big shift in the way people consume live performance? How will this impact cultural institutions?
Philanthropy and Taxes
How does a new landscape change the future of philanthropy? How will the economy impact non-profits and giving? How will the recent level of outlay to keep New Yorkers afloat impact the tax regime of NYC?
There are lots of questions, and lots of moving pieces. All of them tickle my curiosity and are worth exploring. We’ll begin these conversations and will include you in the dialogue! Thanks for your support, your questions, your passions, your knowledge, and your desire to learn more. -S