Support 100 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

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • 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
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Why competition is the key to customer satisfaction
High streets remain vitally important to local communities
The future of gas