The city centres are devastated, is this the end of shopping as we know it? It’s certainly the end of browsing, loitering, conversations with strangers, buying local products from local makers, diversity in fashion and homewares, treasure hunting in antique shops, enjoying the wonderful Victorian architecture, other people’s outfits, street musicians, food stalls, moments of beauty, lines of poetry, insights, spectacle, appreciation of the human family. It’s likely to be the end of random interactions. we will cluster with our own groups or clans because there will be no reason to connect with anyone else.
If the cities are entirely re-purposed as housing, much of it will go to investment speculators, and much to a limited demographic. this will see the end of SOCIAL COHESION. The city offers us a readily-available hub, and if that goes, no amount of cute little psychological experiments will replace it. The cities will be empty, just like the Spanish resorts but with no visitors. I’m glad to see the signs of people getting fed up with online shopping: it’s a wasteful process anyway and only encourages mass manufacture, airmiles, sea-miles, waste, and lack of variety. Our local cities are usually described in the Tourist literature as “Gateway to the Dales”, or Gateway to the Moors”. or whatever -gateway or no gateway, if you can’t go shopping you won’t stick around, humans are hunter/collectors, and can only take just so many Burgers, Fancy coffees, and Architecture, after which we’re bored and won’t come back. Goodbye, Tourist Industry It’s not as if we have reliable sunshine….