‘Urbanisation’ was first popularised in the 18th century after the Industrial Revolution, as people left the countryside in search of better jobs and different lifestyles. As per a report by the United Nations in 2018, more than half of the world's population lived in urban areas compared to a third in 1950. However, due to the rise of remote working and a large number of technological advances, we can now see a reversal of this trend, this is called Deurbanisation or counter-urbanisation. 

Lucy Margeaux, a civil servant based in Manchester who is herself moving to the countryside to work remotely, when asked why she thought so many people were making the move responded ‘Working from home prompted people to re-evaluate their lifestyles, with a growing awareness that being in nature is great for good mental health and wellbeing’, a sentiment echoed by many in the aftermath of COVID-19, when through necessity the services available to work from home improved and were normalised, therefore people were not as tied to the location of their office. As well as growing conversation around mental health, Research conducted by ‘Remote’ reveals Manchester has the biggest demand for remote working in the UK, with 65% of those surveyed saying they would be happy to work from anywhere.

This move out of urban areas is predicted to have a positive impact on the planet, as cities lose more and more green space to accommodate their large populations. The United Nations Environmental Programme states that cities produce 72% of global greenhouse emissions. Therefore deurbanisation is set to work against the climate crisis while also improving the mental health of those who undertake the move, showing deurbanisation as a hopeful step towards the future.