Rebuilding cities post-pandemic

By Virginia Capmourteres

Xuemei Bai and collaborators share their thoughts on how cities need to be rebuilt after the COVID-19 pandemic. Most major cities across the globe, the authors claim, need to strengthen their health-care systems, improve communications with citizens, ensure sourcing of food and services, fight for equality, and make nature a priority.

The Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force was created precisely to rebuild cities and economies in a way that improves public health, reduces inequality and addresses the climate crisis. The Mayors of cities such as Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Durban have already announced a new set of measures to build more sustainable cities. In addition, Paris, Milan, Bogota, and Barcelona will be closing areas to vehicular traffic and increase bicycle lanes as strategies to halt climate change.

Bei et al. also argue that cities need to use reliable, accurate and science-based information in a timely fashion to better respond to new breaks of the coronavirus. Related to this, informing the community on the importance of social distance, masks, and quarantine is also a major challenge metropolises face.

Preparing cities for a post-pandemic world will require the understanding of cities as complex systems, where several factors are at play, including physical structure, urban processes, governing capacity, and functional outcomes.

Banner photo credit: REVOLT on Unsplash.

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