Challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and design responses in public space: Towards strategies for more resilient post-Covid cities
Paper accepted for publication in the Changing Cities V proceedings:
Gualtieri, G., Boon, B., Nirschl, M., Suurenbroek, F., de Waal, M., Andaloro, B., & S. Schramko. 2022. Challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and design responses in public space: Towards strategies for more resilient post-Covid cities. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Changing Cities V: Spatial, Design, Landscape, Heritage & Socio-economic Dimensions. Corfu, 20-25 June 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic triggered governments and designers to revalue and redesign public spaces. This paper focuses on the various design responses to Covid-19 proposed and implemented in public spaces. In particular, we identify the kinds of challenges that such design responses address and the strategies that they use. We selected 56 design examples, largely collected from internet sources. By analyzing the design examples we identified five Covid-related challenges that were addressed in public space: sustaining amenities, keeping a distance, feeling connected, staying mentally healthy, and expanding health infrastructures. For each challenge, we articulated 2 to 6 design strategies. The challenges highlight the potential of public space to contribute to more resilient cities during times of pandemic, also in the future. The design strategies show the possible ways in which this potential can be fulfilled. In our next steps, we will use our findings to develop a program of possibilities; this program will contain a wide range of design strategies for responding to future pandemics and will be made publically accessible in an online database. The program contributes to more resilient post-Covid cities, by offering a variety of possibilities for coping with, and adapting to, pandemic-related shocks and stressors.
Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic; public space design; neighbourhood resilience; program of possibilities; database.