In the context of urbanization and globalization, people and cities are highly connected and dependent from each other socially, spatially and economically. Poorly managed human settlements with high population density, inadequate housing conditions, overcrowded modes of public transport and lack of open urban space, among other factors, have been related to the vulnerability of cities to coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected the most vulnerable such as the elderly, the sick, migrants and the urban poor. Most humans spend more than 90% of their daily lives in different types of built environment and many even commuting between cities, whereas mandatory stay-at-home regulations have shifted the importance towards the own dwelling space, the neighbourhood and the virtual space.
People’s appropriation and adaptation of housing space for self-care, work and study have been among coping responses during the pandemic. The latter has made explicit that we should rethink our practices of inhabiting, sharing and being involved in our communities and human settlements to be able to face future crisis.
How should future human settlements be planned, built and managed to prevent similar future situations – such as other pandemics or crisis?