Zoom town, the small cities that attract those who work in smartworking


In the United States, small towns and villages are getting a boom in interest and new inhabitants: it’s time for Zoom towns.

With the spread of the smart working small towns and villages are increasing their population: thus in the United States the phenomenon of Zoom town. Those who work remotely are taking advantage of the possibility to connect anywhere to go and live in communities with few inhabitants close to nature, rather than in the metropolis. In America various cities, usually unrelated to immigration and until now with little attraction for young workers, have seen increase residents in recent months becoming Zoom town, from the name of the program used to make online meetings. Smart working is favoring the relocation to these places, but at the same time it could cause an increase in rents and gentrification in areas of new interest.

Rural areas are becoming trendy

According to a Pew Research poll, one in 20 Americans, or 5% of the population, is transferred due to the Covid-19 epidemic; in the age group between 18 and 29, the percentage rises to 11%. Opportunity to work from home, lower rent costs and lower cost of living than in large cities have led many employees to choose teleworking from hitherto neglected areas.

This is the case with Sandpoint nell’Idaho, which is located on a lake and is a ski resort, and which had already started to see an increase in immigration in the last 5 years. It is now preparing to receive more remote workers who have arrived in the post-pandemic. Or Butte, in the state Montana, which has had a surge in popularity and is attracting new citizens beyond the approximately 33,000 it has today. Residents praise its low population density, wide open spaces, and abundance of recreational opportunities. Some villages have even set up economic incentives to entice smart workers to relocate: this is the case in some communities in the north of Arkansas than with the initiative Life Works Here they offer $ 10,000 (€ 8,200) to those who move for a minimum of one year, as well as a free bike to enjoy the local sights. “With one of the best costs of living, abundant outdoor perks, nationally ranked arts, cultural and culinary scenes, and a 14% higher per capita income than the national average, the Northwest Arkansas region offers an opportunity unique for those wishing to travel from large cities and congested and expensive suburbs”Is the slogan used to attract new citizens.

The problems of the Zoom towns

L’addio a Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco of many workers has been helped by the closure of offices and the increase in rents in these metropolises. The new hybrid working methodology lends itself well to being implemented in rural villages outside the most congested areas. But since the Zoom towns have few homes available and now many in demand, we run the risk of raising prices of houses and embarrass historical residents. “What we are seeing in some small communities is rural gentrification, which is having a negative effect on people who can no longer afford to live in their communities “he said the researcher Danya Rumore who dealt with the trend – “many cities now have crowded schools and overloaded infrastructure”, Two problems that until now had not touched these small villages.

Where in Italy and provides that the number of smart working workers stabilize at 5.3 million people, a similar project was launched with the campaign Southworking, but so far there has not been a notable exodus to small towns. In the United States, on the other hand, the first Zoom towns have already sprung up: all that remains to be seen is whether they will remain populated for a long time.




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