May 28, 2020
Is a sustainable utopia within reach post-COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has upheaved societies around the world – perhaps permanently. There’s an acknowledgement that everyday life will have to change post-lockdown to avoid further outbreaks, but could this transition also present a chance to usher in a fairer, greener, and less lonely future?

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Diseases can shape cities just as much as immigration or industry. London’s Embankment, for instance, was a Victorian innovation designed to disguise a state-of-the-art sewage system built to replace the city’s festering open drains after repeated cholera outbreaks. New York’s skyline, meanwhile, was partially constructed to mitigate the spread of airborne tuberculosis through internal air shafts and large, central squares. In 2020, as countries steadily emerge from lockdown and grapple with how to thaw out finances, the COVID-19 pandemic may present a similar opportunity to reimagine urban societies, potentially making them greener, more sustainable, and fairer for all.