New York. Los Angeles. Chicago. Call them America’s “superstars.” With huge, diverse populations, these urban hubs have long reigned as the nation’s economic, social, and cultural capitals. But big cities have also been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the coronavirus shut down much of the United States in early 2020, “Zoom towns” sprang up across the country as professionals left urban centers in droves. The pandemiclong with nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd that springlso brought racial, social, and economic inequality into sharp focus, and some large cities implemented new progressive policies that aimed to combat this inequality and create a more equitable society. For some people in higher income brackets, this means a new financial structure that could make city life less rewarding. Some argue that large, urban centers will bounce back and continue to thrive, but others argue that they will likely struggle to maintain their magnetism and appeal. Are big cities past their prime?