Co-working spaces have obviously had a highly volatile year and the crisis only adds to the confusion. Going forward, we believe it is likely that as more teams become remote, less focus will be placed on the geographic location of your office. As such, co-working spaces will see less traffic from small start-ups. Additionally, social change could shift consumer’s willingness to rent a hot desk, preferring a more sterile set of desks or rooms that are shared among fewer people. This shift could drastically shift the co-working space model and only highly capitalized companies able to re-configure set ups and sustain short term losses will survive.
COVID-19 has already had far-reaching effects on the way we live and proven that the built environment of our cities must adapt. Our thesis is that access to urban data was valuable pre-pandemic and is even more valuable now and that digital infrastructure will be crucial to support the recovery of the economy.
At Ratio.city, we provide data driven insights that can be converted into actionable strategies for cities. An example is a recent map we published which allows anyone to see how sidewalk widths vary across Toronto and dynamically analyze the percentage of sidewalks within each neighborhood that allow for appropriate social distancing.
We have identified a number of new opportunities that we are integrating into our product roadmap. Right now, our primary customers are real estate developers and investors who are looking for land for urban infill development. But we predict there will be increased interest from asset managers wanting to reposition portfolios as well as opportunistic investors keen to enter the market. We also see that remote work for professional ‘City Builders’ such as urban planners, architects, transit planners, municipal urban planning staff and real estate developers, will be here to stay for the short and medium term. These professionals have had to adjust to working from home in a very short amount of time and this rapid transition has highlighted the lack of digital infrastructure currently available.