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How Life in Our Cities Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic

SCIS Editor
06 May 2020
Foreign Policy

The pandemic will change urban life forever. Foreign Policy has asked 12 leading global experts in urban planning, policy, history, and health for their predictions.

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Cities are at the center of this pandemic, as they have been during so many plagues in history. The virus originated in a crowded city in central China. It spread between cities and has taken the most lives in cities. New York has become the world’s saddest, most dismal viral hotspot.

Hunkered down at home, rarely venturing into hauntingly empty streets, most of us are still at a loss at how urban life will look afterwards. Will restaurants survive and jobs come back? Will people still travel in crowded subways? Do we even need office towers when everyone is on Zoom? Come to think of it, the idea of living on a farm seems suddenly attractive.

Cities thrive on the opportunities for work and play, and on the endless variety of available goods and services. If fear of disease becomes the new normal, cities could be in for a bland and antiseptic future, perhaps even a dystopian one. But if the world’s cities find ways to adjust, as they always have in the past, their greatest era may yet lie before them.

To help us make sense of urban life after the pandemic, Foreign Policy asked 12 leading thinkers from around the world to weigh in with their predictions. You can find the full article here