Is The 9-To-5 Becoming A 20th-Century Relic?

Now that technology allows more people to work pretty much anywhere and at any time, what does that mean for 21st-century city planners and urban designers?

What's the Latest Development?


At this week's Intelligent Cities "UnConference," a participant-run event hosted at the annual meeting of the American Planning Association, workplace strategist Adam Stoltz asked: "[W]hat happens when our behavior changes, when the ways that people move through and need to use space across cities no longer matches some of the ways we've built them?" He was referring to the ways in which technology now allows office workers to perform tasks virtually anywhere, at any time, and how that affects the design of living and working spaces as well as the transportation infrastructure used to connect the two.

What's the Big Idea?

Writer Emily Badger claims that today's built environment "[was] designed to accommodate the ways that people worked (and lived) 20 or 50 years ago" and that urban spaces are slowly changing in response to new technology and the corresponding shift in human work-life behavior. Interestingly, some see the changes as more of a return to the way people in cities lived and worked before the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, "when shopkeepers...lived in apartments above their stores." Stoltz advises city planners of the future to build with this in mind: "[S]hould there actually be places [in a city] where there is no WiFi?"

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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