With in-person shopping about to re-start in Auckland next week, this is the best moment we will have to reinvent Auckland: one customer at a time.
It will likely not affect our other cities, but Auckland is over 33% of our population and nearly 40% of our GDP. It matters.
At the moment NZPost is so slammed with courier requests that it has simply stopped any couriers across Auckland. But NZPost and others will catch up with market demand.
This is just one way that needless short-journey car trips can be cut wayyy down.
I will never be darkening the door of a supermarket again, since getting it all delivered is now simply a part of ordinary life. No one enjoys it, and “place of interest” has taken on a whole different meaning.
There will be a lot of ma and pa retailers and minor suburban shop-groups who are about to die, as are a lot more marginal shops inside malls. It’s an acceleration of what’s been occurring already.
- Auckland life is about to change, one key stat at a time:
- Will public transport return to anywhere near what it was? This may have implications for Auckland’s PT investment.
- Will morning-peak car commuting plateau even further? There’s greater ability and reason to work from home.
- Will mid and high end restaurants die faster than they have been? Maybe more takeaways, take-out and picnic-style is here to stay and for more days of the week.
- Will crime stay suppressed? Will we grow less tolerant of social infractions generally?
- Will COVID accelerate the decline of mainline church and mosque attendance due to unmanageable risk?
- Will other clustered indoor activities like cinemas, bowling alleys, gyms, concerts, political rallies, and public meetings fade fast? Will they simply become rare events? And how will they be replaced?
- Will more students opt to stay home and be taught from home primarily on line?
- Will the above conserve total energy use and help achieve our climate goals as both consumers and as citizens?
- Will the above make us simply less wasteful and more inclined to have a lot more materials storage at home?
- Will we become more focused in organising ‘together time’ to ensure that when we get to engage, we do so with real purpose and good spirit?
With years into the future of COVID’s effect on Auckland, we may as well anticipate the changes that are observed around us already.
Much of the change is exceedingly disorienting and destabilising. Some of them are good. Either way it’s looking permanent.