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January

Will a new shared office space work in the post-COVID-19 era? Edward “Ned” Murray, an urban planner and an associate director at Florida International University’s Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center, isn’t so sure. He pointed out that shared office spaces were not doing well even before the COVID-19 pandemic, since it’s more economical for private contractors and freelancers – a major market for shared office spaces – to simply turn their homes into offices.

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February

“We still don’t have the positive economic indicators that will slow down the moving out of the county in terms of wages and jobs, and especially in terms of housing,” said Maria Ilcheva, Assistant Director of Planning and Operations for the Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center at Florida International University. “That’s what’s primarily driving prices up: There is higher demand, but the higher demand is not being driven by local conditions.”

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Florida International University recently announced that researchers have created a tool that tracks South Florida’s recovery from the pandemic. The researchers at the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center created the monthly COVID Economic Recovery Index, tracking tri-county indicators in health, housing and the economy and comparing them to state and national statistics.

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“The impact of COVID-19 on our region is unprecedented,” said Ned Murray, associate director of the Jorge M. Pérez FIU Metropolitan Center. “We hope to quantify the impact of the pandemic through this index and guide policymakers in their decisions during the economic recovery.”

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March

“COVID has underscored long-standing inequalities in our system—the differentials in death rates, and more recently, vaccination rates, between minority and white populations are real,” says Howard Frank, professor and chair of public policy and administration and director of the Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center. “These are issues our students need to understand and be aware of.”

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