The rise of remote working during the COVID-19 crisis significantly reduced activity in cities’ business districts, renewing policy makers’ interest in turning underused office buildings into much needed residential housing in cities. This creates a unique window of opportunity to shape more sustainable and inclusive urban development.
Many readers will be familiar with the game SimCity. You play an omnipotent mayor, laying roads, planning infrastructure, and zoning land to grow your city and attract “Sims”, the inhabitants of your marvel creation. With good planning, your city prospers, Sims are happy, and you earn “Simoleons” (SimCity’s currency) to develop your city further. That is, of course, barring the occasional zombie apocalypse.