Will Montreal lose out to the regions?

Radio-Canada has quite a long and discursive piece in discussion with a series of urbanism and sociology professors about the future of Montreal, in particular vs. the regions, as things evolve to face the challenge of Covid.

It begins to filter through as you read that no amount of expertise enables someone to foresee how the city will look in 5, 10, 20 years: will downtown rebound, will there really be more foci of urban activity, as suggested by one, or just lots of distributed teleworking/coworking centres, as another proposes? Will the regions flourish as Montreal declines? Will other, unpredictable factors come into play?

“Six mois dans l’histoire d’une ville, c’est quand même quelque chose d’assez court” as one of the experts says, although another thinks “On va revenir à une économie où les rencontres, les dîners d’affaires, se serrer la main, se regarder, vont revenir comme avant” and I’m not sure we can rely on that. Major crises tend to effect permanent changes that only become clear in retrospect.

I’m going to be a pain in the ass here and note that all the experts in this story are white males. Since the writer doesn’t have a souchy sort of name, I can’t clobber him on the ethnicity side, but I’d have enjoyed reading about what one or two women experts thought as well.