Will Cities Around the World Evolve after the Pandemic?

Junyu Xiang/ June 25, 2020/ Blog post

This summer, I took Geog/GD 464 to learn graphic design at multiple levels. I’ve chosen to focus on the topic of culture and arts and connection to city design during and after the pandemic. It’s undeniable that urbanization is one of the most important driving forces for human social and economic life. In urbanization modern life, even though the majority of human kinds live in suburban areas, most of the economic activity still occurs in urban and metropolitan regions; therefore cities planning and designs determine the essential factors in human society.

On May 25’s course discussion board, I analyzed the paper about pandemic’s influence on the public place because of the COVID-19, we are limited inside the home because of public areas are risky. However, the limitation on human activity is not a permanent method in the long term; we need to replanning our public space to provide us a better life. Our so-far urban design could not adapt to life during the pandemic (Xiang, May 25, 2020). The situation will be worse outside of North America that the COVID-19 crisis magnified the more on South Africa’s cities livings because of the limitation on water resources (Xiang, May 14, 2020). The most critical part of urban life and makes its unique is: proximity. In typical modern life, the way people daily meet with each other and exchange ide in intensive work centers has achieved many achievements. This idea overlaps with the concept that many millennials (at least those who promote economic development) prefer urban social interactions rather tan suburban lives.  

The fact is the virus has engulfed New York- the densest city in the world, the city’s opponents claim those city constructions are the source of almost all of our problems, including infectious diseases. They state that cities are harmful to people’s health even back to the 18th and 19th’s industrial revolution, our cities developed dramatically from the benefit of the revolution, but our towns became dirtier and polluted. For instance, London is known for its fog, which is a polite term for toxic and air pollution. But the continuous development of cities planing is part of our evolution that humans will adapt to all the kinds of issues in our event. Rural areas are far behind in introducing these solutions, and since the 1950s, suburbs have been struggling to build and maintain these systems in low-density situations. ( (Kinder, Rice, 2020 Mar).

Therefore, we need to build a more sophisticated city with our public health organization. Back in the era before industrial evolution, humans tried to solve most land-use planning by adding space between humans and construction. However, in modern city planning, it’s not accessible for most cities in the world. The threat of infectious diseases may increase the solution of urban design; for example, it may be solved by establishing more isolated areas in public places such as restaurants and parks. (Kinder, Rice, 2020 Mar).

From an interview of Matti Siemiatycki- the associate professor in the Department of Geography in the University of Toronto, he claims that most people will continue to choose to live in the urban for multiple reasons, so the city evolution should keep the pace in next couple moths (U of T News, April 29,2020). In the short term, the pandemic’s impact will affect the city budge profoundly, but it is reasonable to assume that pandemic will be a long-term influence in human history that the subtle changes in urban design will provide a safer space for next generations.

To be specific, our city designing will focus on two significant parts: small local businesses and public space. The local store, retailers, shops, restaurants, and cafes are the lifeblood of the city’s street, and all the small businesses are facing terrible damage for the past few months. Most city designer believes that the government is likely to exacerbate the larger retailers on our streets instead of the small shops to keep a safer distance between the customer in a better manner. On the other hand, our public space will not be lost its flavor and personality because, to maintain the space distance, city designers will contribute more plan facilities to sperate the crowd in a single facility.

Reference:

Here’s  what  our  cities  will  look  like  after  the  coronavirus  pandemic. ( Apirl, 28, 2020). Rice Kinder, Insitutie for Urban Research. Retreived from: https://kinder.rice.edu/urbanedge/2020/03/26/what-our-cities-will-look-after-coronavirus-pandemic 

Junyu, Xiang (May 25,2020). Paper Analysis on cities planing in pandemic. GEO 464 Discussion Borad.

Junyu, Xiang (May 14,2020). Reflection on South Afirca and other Hard-hid Area. Geo 464 Discusssion Borad.

Holland, Oscar. (May 9, 2020). Our cities may never look the same again after the pandemic. CNN News. Retreived from:

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/cities-design-coronavirus/index.html

How Will covid-19 change Toronto? U of T’s Matti Siemiatycki on the city’s post-pandemic future.( April 29, 2020) U of T News. Retrevied from:https://www.utoronto.ca/news/how-will-covid-19-change-toronto-u-t-s-m atti-siemiatycki-city-s-post-pandemic-future  

McKinley, Jesse.(Mar 22, 2020). New York city Region is Now an E[icenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The New York Times.

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