Hyper local, but away from the city

Hyper local, but away from the city

How will this impact policy-making on mobility, governance, healthcare, waste management and more?

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

As the Covid-19 second wave wreaked havoc, many corporates preferred to continue the Work from Home concept beyond the pandemic. The changes brought about by the pandemic has meant a clear shift away from a highly concentrated urban economy to local living.

How will this impact policy-making on mobility, governance, healthcare, waste management and more? Here is what the average Bengalurean thinks about the evolving trend.

Sivaram Natarajan, a resident of ISRO Layout says, “Since the first case of Covid-19 in India was reported in January 2020, in Kerala, the lives of all Indians have been turned upside down. There is a general feeling that the country has an oversized and bloated government.”

He elaborates, “People generally feel that big governments are slow and they can’t change as quickly as the communities they serve. So, a hyper-local neighbourhood life seems to be an ideal solution and it has become quite the buzzword after the pandemic.”

Read more: Nokia to allow employees to work remotely for three days a week

The hyper-local concept, which essentially encourages urbanites to live in their neighbourhoods as if they were self-sufficient villages, seems like the way to go, moving forward, he points out.

Since the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, there has been a drop in pollution. Twenty-one of the world’s 30 cities with the worst air pollution are in India, with six in the top ten. “A hyper-local neighbourhood life is a solution if we want to keep lowering the air pollution levels. By removing the factor of travelling, we can achieve this goal, just like the period during lockdown has exemplified.”

Bhavana P Rajeev, a resident of Domlur, notes: “I would love to continue working from home as it is very much convenient being at home within our comfort zone.”

She hopes that the reverse migration will reduce virus spread drastically in the city with a lesser number of residents. This, in turn, will definitely decrease the waste produced in the city. According to her, in every aspect work from home is the best choice.

While boosting the work from home concept, the pandemic has affected sectors such as tourism. But there is an opportunity here. Anu Thomas, who works in this sector, feels the government can now focus on local level development and boost cottage tourism.

“Building roads to rural areas will help boost the sector and revive the economy. Unlike the urban-centric economy, this will give a chance for equal distribution of resources.”

Ivy Paul, a student who moved to her village due to the lockdown feels that the pandemic has given a tough time for students because digital divide is a factor that still exists in the country. When she was in the city it was easy to access Internet connectivity. But in her village, it is difficult and this causes a lot of stress during the final year of her bachelor’s degree.

“When we think about development at the local level, we should also consider internet connectivity as many are studying or working from home. On certain days I take leave from class due to poor connectivity issues,” says Ivy.

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