Ideas and Action, focused on civic work devoted to racial reconciliation and wealth building. One project in particular, with the Albina Vision Trust in Portland, Oregon, is imagining alternative forms of development, ownership and governance on land taken away from the area’s Black community.

As the line between office and home was erased, Mr. Norman said he felt both liberated (from the commute) and stifled (without it). But the experience also showed the promise, he said, of ideas urban planners have had for years: How cities with less rigid, more inclusive zoning and a revenue model less dependent on property ownership might make for more just, affordable and humane communities.

For people in planning and creative place making, this is the flexibility we’ve always been fighting for. Of course, we didn’t want it to happen this way.

Sometimes I joke with colleagues on Zoom that we’re all doing something illegal. We’re in single-family houses that specifically prohibit businesses, specifically prohibit all these other things, and here we are. Those rules were put in place assuming the need to impose segregation of uses, races and family types. We are living with the legacy of exclusionary zoning and racial covenants.

“Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century,” a 2017 book that told the stories of older Americans battling economic hardship and precarious housing by living in vans and chasing seasonal work — and finding a kind of liberation in doing so. (It is now, of course, a critically acclaimed movie starring Frances McDormand, with multiple Oscar nominations.) For the book, Ms. Bruder traveled with her subjects in a white GMC Vandura she named Halen, after the 1980s hair band, a vehicle that soon become a cherished home. This past year, Halen has been stranded in a friend’s backyard in Reno, N.V., where Ms. Bruder, who lives in Brooklyn, was scheduled to speak last spring. She had hoped to reunite with it then, but the pandemic canceled those plans. Nonetheless, she took to the road in a 10-year-old Prius she kitted out with an Igloo cooler that plugs into the cigarette-lighter socket, camping gear and a five-gallon bucket of sanitary necessities, including gloves, masks, sanitizer, wipes and “the feminine accessory of the season,” she said, “a She Wee, a.k.a. pee funnel,” so as to avoid public restrooms.

The more I stayed home, the less at home I felt. No out-of-town guests came to couch-surf. No communal meals were shared at the long oak table I built for that purpose. Sirens and helicopters made it hard to sleep.

New York City had become a centrifuge, spitting friends out in faraway places. So I decided to hit the road, loading up my Prius like a space capsule with all the necessities to sustain human life.

Soon, home was a tent — on a Maine porch, in a New Hampshire backyard — for socially distant visits with friends. Or it was staying in an Asheville basement, hanging out with family in the carport. Or it was a spartan KOA cabin in Virginia, after it got aired out and the door handles were Cloroxed. There’s a kind of refuge in motion. — JESSICA BRUDER

McMansion Hell blog, which chronicles the excesses of that housing type. She does not live in a McMansion, or even a house, but a two-bedroom apartment in Chicago, where she has been confined with relative ease, thinking about privacy and consent, and how the open office has migrated to the Zoom-ified house.

Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, his blog and a 2017 book of the same name, have been a kind of diary of homesickness. Yet the events of the last year have mostly alleviated those feelings for him.

“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” a heartbreaking tour of unstable housing, Matthew Desmond, a sociologist, moved into a mobile home park and a rooming house in Milwaukee, chronicling firsthand the violence of eviction, an experience that irrevocably altered his relationship with the idea of home. Mr. Desmond now teaches at Princeton University and runs the school’s Eviction Lab, which tracks evictions across the country; he lives with his wife and two small children in a house nearby.

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