Pandemic Resilient Cities
An uncertain future
As we re-think pretty much every angle of our personal and professional lives while sitting at home trying to avoid the spread of Covid-19 (#flattenthecurve), we have a lot of thoughts relating to the virus and the way we will need to live on this planet to promote a more pandemic-resilient future. We will be writing much more in the next few weeks, but in the meantime we are still all dealing with critical issues of survival throughout the world. In the US we face a variety of urgent issues from access to PPE for our health care providers to senior-citizen care, while schools and business remain closed. Our future feels uncertain.
However, if we look at the long-game of global health and our existence on the earth, we have the opportunity to hit the "reset" button. How do we move forward in the future?
Are you getting outside?
As of April 17th, 2020, we are still dealing with basic survival, so the first thing we all need to do is breathe and take care of ourselves and those around us the best we can. For those of us who self-identify as obsessed urban design and landscape architects who can not turn off their brains, one of the more interesting things we have noticed is how important open space, sidewalks, back-yards, and pedestrian trails are to physical and mental health.
Many of us would argue these spaces have always been important. But at the moment, these elements are critical infrastructure to achieve social distancing out-of-doors and to support mental and physical health.
Should we turn to the streets for open space?
As we likely enter a recession, or at least an economic downturn, the design community (and communities in general) are looking for affordable solutions to maintain human and physical health and to maintain a minimum of 6' from those around us. Can you do this in your city? We will leave you with this video to ponder this question, because seriously, what else is there to do today? https://youtu.be/aXxfKX4tRdw