How do you build a city for a pandemic?

Published in BBC

By Robert Muggah

The pandemic has turned the world outside our doorsteps into a newly formed wilderness. Public spaces are now areas to be ventured into sparingly, except by essential workers, so for most of us our worlds have shrunk to the size of our homes.

Modern cities weren’t designed to cope with life during a pandemic, and this upside-down way of living has turned them into “a disorganised array of disconnected bedrooms and studios”, says Lydia Kallipoliti, an architect at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in New York. This layout might have made sense when cities were internationally connected hubs filled with millions of people working, commuting, sightseeing, drinking, dancing and hugging one another without a second thought. But that world seems a long way off now.

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