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Home / Cities / More people turning towards smaller cities with more green spaces: Survey

More people turning towards smaller cities with more green spaces: Survey

cities Updated: Jul 04, 2020 01:41 IST

An international research survey has found that one of the impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak is that more people are thinking about living in smaller cities than metropolises, and seeking green and open spaces. The survey spoke to over 550 decision-makers, policy experts and business owners in over 45 countries, including India.

Titled “Project Impact: Impact of Covid-19 on Cities and Mobility”, the survey was conducted between May 1 and June 7, via questionnaire and interviews by global think tank Cities Forum, Gujarat-based CEPT Research and Development Foundation (CDRF); GIZ, a German development agency, and Ideal Management Consultants. Subjects shared their responses via questionnaires and interviews.

The survey found 89% of respondents felt cities need to invest more in cycling and walking infrastructure and 76% felt working remotely had made them question the decision to live in big cities. “There is a strong likelihood of people preferring to live in smaller cities rather than large cities,” reads the report, adding that 88% feel inclined to working and living in areas with more green and open spaces. Of the experts, 49% predicted smaller cities with lower densities will be preferable in the immediate future.

Shailendra Kaushik, co-founder, Cities Forum, said, “Many experts believe that the trend of shifting to smaller cities has already begun. This will also result in land-use changes in cities where mixed-neighbourhoods will be preferred and there will be a reduction in overall mobility demand.”

Respondents said public transit trips will not return to pre-Covid levels immediately and the confidence to travel in public transport will only increase gradually.

PRK Murthy, director (projects), Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, has been quoted in the report saying, “I expect there would be drastic reductions in the demand for public transport. The demand for public transport would be less in the first two to five years and in the long term, after five years, the demand for public transport is expected to reach pre Covid-19 levels.”

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