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The City of Hudson proactively looks at current trends to help plan for the future of Hudson. Recently, the City formalized those trends in a Hudson Trends Report that has been published on the City’s website. This report is a snapshot in time, as trends constantly change based on many outside factors.
The information is being presented at this time due to predictions that trends which existed before the pandemic may be accelerated and trends that arose during the pandemic may be permanently adopted.
The City continues to monitor these changing trends, especially in the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examining trends will help Hudson proactively address these issues in our community. Here are highlights from the recent report, which can be viewed in its entirety at www.hudson.oh.us/hudsontrends.
Trends in Technology
COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of remote services that has been trending for years. Telecommuting (remote work), telehealth, online payments, and other remote opportunities are expected to continue to grow in popularity. Entertainment and personal services may continue to be offered remotely. Governments are increasingly offering contactless payment options such as PayPal or Apple Pay so that residents do not have to rely on cash or checks if they prefer a faster, paperless experience.
Video media has increased for both personal and professional use. Customer acquisition has accelerated, especially in paid streaming video, music, and gaming subscriptions. Citizens are streaming more video than ever through services such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. The use of video-conferencing and video marketing is growing in the business world. Video takes up space on digital networks and creates need for additional bandwidth to maintain speed and quality.
Hudson City government has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic this year by making greater use of remote services such as virtual public meetings, video staff meetings, and teleconferencing to keep City services moving forward during the shutdowns.
For several years, has made it easy to pay utility bills online, and has used remote technology to read utility meters. Hudson continues to look at the new technology for better, more cost-effective ways to provide quality services to citizens.
Citizens rely on internet for work, school, and entertainment. There is increasing demand for continuity of connection that allows citizens to stay connected wherever they are, on any device. Eighty-one percent of adults say they are online daily, with 28% reporting they are online almost constantly. With COVID-19, online remote learning and the need for access to reliable internet services has increased.
A new trend that cities are using to support local businesses is “tactical urbanism” to rapidly test solutions to problems that arise in the city. Tactical urbanism is a term used to describe low-cost, temporary changes to the environment intended to improve local neighborhoods and gathering places. Hudson recently sought creative, non-traditional methods to support local businesses during the coronavirus crisis. One example was providing temporary picnic tables for outdoor dining rather than taking time to establish permanent outdoor eating areas. Hudson also offered temporary utility relief to small businesses that are Hudson utility customers. Regulations were relaxed to allow window signage that would help draw additional customers to local stores. Hudson also established a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to provide for social distancing while purchasing alcoholic beverages at restaurants and bars. The City will continue to look for ways to help businesses in the future.
Some organizations may reduce office space and allow more employees to work remotely, while others may repurpose office space. Co-working spaces may become an attractive option for remote employees who do not want to work from home.
Residential Housing Trends
Over the past few years, suburban growth has outpaced that of major cities. COVID-19 could accelerate this trend, due to concern over using public transit and shared workspaces.
Millennial home buyers moving from cities prefer suburbs with vibrant and walkable town centers that have friendly hometown character, upscale shopping, fine dining, cafes, and cultural events. There is a renewed interest by younger buyers for homes with yards and extra rooms, such as home offices.
Baby boomers are turning 65 at a rate of 8,000 a day. A survey by Fresenius Medical Care found that 65% of the general population say aging in place is a
goal, but only 33% feel it is attainable due to considerations such as limited access to medical care and the livability of their current home. Baby boomers are looking to downsize and are seeking smaller, low-maintenance spaces that are closer to downtown core.
Income Tax Trends
The City is monitoring telecommuting trends and state decisions on income tax as an estimated 25-30% of the American workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. People pay income tax to the city in which they work. Income tax is the City of Hudson’s largest source of revenues to support City services. If people who previously worked in Hudson work from home in a city other than Hudson, that could impact tax revenues. In general, when people work from home more than 20 days in a different city than Hudson, those income tax revenues would go to the city in which they live.
To alleviate concerns about significant changes in income tax revenue and difficulties with filing compliance, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 197 to allow municipalities to continue collecting income taxes as if employees were working from their regular offices during Ohio’s state of emergency. The emergency tax legislation expires 30 days after Ohio lifts its state of emergency.
There is a growing need for public outdoor spaces and services. Public infrastructure creates a more convenient experience for patronizing local businesses. It can encourage shoppers to visit more often and stay longer. People also have a growing desire to use sidewalks and bike trails to get to destinations.
The Rise of Public Health
The COVID-19 crisis has increased scrutiny of public health efforts and the interest in personal wellness. People spend 90% of their time inside, and poor indoor air quality can affect productivity, decision-making, and well-being. People also want to spend more time outside in outdoor fitness classes.