Healthy Pandemic Resilient Cities

Most of the world’s cities have spent considerable time and effort enhancing their resilience against a whole host of threats and risks, particularly relating to climate change, extreme weather events and rising sea levels. But until now, the potentially devastating impact of a pandemic had not played a large role in collective thinking about planning, designing, building, and operating urban spaces.

As the world comes to terms with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many questions are being asked to understand what it means to ‘build back better’. The Arcadis Shelter Programme has been commissioned by UN-Habitat to contribute to this conversation in the global community with thought leadership considerations for urban planning, buildings, water, and mobility. UN-Habitat focuses on four pillars in the COVID-19 response long term and short term. This report mainly addresses these pillars through an urban planning perspective.

• Rethinking the state, reorganizing local governance mechanisms

• Addressing the increase of poverty and the exacerbation of inequalities in cities

• Rethinking urban morphology, creating new evidence on density and compactness

• Reducing the risk of failure of the current urban economic business model

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