View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
12 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Covid-19 will reshape our cities

By Samir Jeraj

Health crises and pandemics have shaped cities for centuries, how will the coronavirus crisis change how we plan and live in urban space? Adrian Dobson, the executive director for professional services at the Royal Institute of British Architects, thinks urban density comes and goes in waves. The development of the industrial cities in the 19th century generated both a public health response and birthed the Garden City movement, which tried to combine the best of the town and country. More recently, he notes, urban areas have become more dense again, both in living spaces and working places, with an emphasis on transport hubs to make these more sustainable than their low-density counterparts. 

The initial response to covid-19, he says, will be driven more by emotion than science. Those who can will likely seek the comfort and space of surburbs and dormatory towns, as the experience of lockdown in London and other cities underlines the privations of urban life. More practically, he adds, we will have to adapt work spaces, care homes, education and medical facilities to cope with social distancing. Large public areas may give way to an emphasis on wider paths for travel by foot and cycle. The imperitive is, however, to build and invest in the infrastructure we know will serve us well in coming health challenges. 

Read the full article

Content from our partners
What is the UK’s vision for its tech sector?
Inside the UK's enduring love for chocolate

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU