The author writes that ‘as the world navigates a tragic global health crisis, a funereal quiet has stripped many cities of their specific magic’. Country life has been ‘untenable’ for a generation, as globalisation has damaged rural economies.
Remote work has however reopened the possibility for rebuilding ageing, shrinking towns, not through the creation of new jobs, but by the relocation of those who can work anywhere.
The author reflects that as long as cities have existed, so too has the ‘fetishisation of the countryside’ as lush and idyllic, which has in turn ‘steamrolled’ over historical truths, such as the difficulties of deriving a living from the land and the challenges affecting rural living.
Financial Times - Let’s turn our rural fantasies into reality
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