The post-Industrial Age live-work future

Over the next couple of decades, expect a post-Industrial Age live-work residential settlement paradigm to establish itself. A hallmark will be the diminishment of daily commuting to work by knowledge and information workers. Instead, they will live in close proximity to their work.

Those with cosmopolitan tastes and able to afford downtown living are looking to live in urban centers and will continue to do so, sparking demand for central city housing. They will live within walking distance or a short bus ride from their offices.

Others will prefer small town living closer to nature and outdoor activities, residing on the fringes or outside of major metropolitan areas in smaller communities of 50,000 or fewer residents. Rather than the transportation infrastructure and automobiles that brought people to work in distant communities, they will rely on telecommunications infrastructure to bring their work to the communities where they live.

The trend will also affect suburbs that were built up in the drive-to-work post-World War II period. Suburbanites will increasingly work in their residential communities some or all of the workweek in home offices and shared co-working centers. That will significantly reduce rush hour transportation demand, taking cars off overburdened highways that cannot efficiently move large numbers of workers to centralized, commute in offices. And not a moment too soon since they are reaching a major maintenance interval, decades after they were first built.