Different people want different things in life. Some people may continue to want to live in big cities, but in a world where more “office work” can be done remotely, there is an opportunity for the Isle of Man to thrive.
This article by Barney Norris talks about potential growth opportunities for his family’s home town of Long Buckby has obvious parallels to the Isle of Man. Obviously, we do not (and will not!) have close rail connections to other places, but physical proximity might be less important in the future. Instead, our Manx community needs to have better access to high quality housing, education and health services.
The way that villages and the people in them have changed over the course of the past few centuries is only just beginning to be understood. In a very short space of time, [the United Kingdom] moved from being a place where most people lived within walking distance of the churchyard where their grandparents were buried, to a hugely mobile population, driven here and there by economic forces. That change led to extraordinary improvements in our quality of life — but the cost of it was unsustainable. Now our task is to reassimilate with the world we’ve been exhausting. I think part of that may involve a move out of big cities as the blinds in those places have to be drawn down. It might be that the future waits for us in places like the village my family once called home.Barney Norris, Will Covid spell the end of city life?