Troubling Blind Spots in the Discourse on Urban Space

Photo: Kathy Willens

Coronavirus is Not Fuel for Urban Fantasies: This Moment Should be about Reassessing our Broken Cities
Alissa Walker

The sidewalks have been converted into bustling restaurants, with families on bikes roaming the open streets, inhaling the cleanest air they’ve breathed in decades—through properly fitted masks, of course. Is this what your city will look like in post-pandemic America? For many, COVID-19 is a life-or-death crisis where your zip code determines if you physically and financially survive. For others, it’s the dawn of an urbanist utopia.

Even before the staggering impact of the novel coronavirus had been fully revealed, the people who write and think about cities were busy writing prescriptions for their recovery. But instead of bearing witness to mass death, as a moment of reflection, many urban advocates are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to accelerate their pre-pandemic agendas—agendas which ignore the issues that made COVID-19 more catastrophic than it should have been.

Opinion Article Published in CURBED May 20, 2020

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