Watch: The Future of Cities After COVID-19

An expert panel convened to discuss the effect of the coronavirus on the foundations of society and contemporary life. The future, both the remaining time dealing with the pandemic and after, is becoming more clear with every passing day and week.

Read Time: 2 minutes

April 17, 2020, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


The most common request I have received as managing editor of Planetizen since the outset of the coronavirus crisis has been to use the website to field a conversation, and debate, about the future of urban planning and design, focusing on questions about density, transportation, and urban design. 

The course preview above offers a taste of Planetizen's first remote panel for the Planetizen Courses platform. The beginning of the "The Future of Cities After COVID-19" discussion is available in the YouTube video above, but the full recording of the panel is available for free, and for AICP CM credit, on the Planetizen Courses website.

The participants, Allison Arieff, William Fulton, Scott Frazier, and Mariela Alfonzo, each bring a unique perspective and eloquence to the discussion. The panel starts out, as shown in the video above, by discussing beginning to develop a framework of understanding for the emerging debate about the future of communities. Speculation and opinions about the future have ranged from predictions about the viability of public transit to the future of the housing market and even to the minutiae of elevators and hallways. Planetizen gathered a collection of articles detailing the earliest episodes on of this this debate at the outset of the crisis in the United States, and on numerous occasions since. Elsewhere on the Internet, Brent Toderian has taken the mantle on one side of the issue, Joel Kotkin the other.

"The Future of Cities After COVID-19" panel dove into specifics about data and policies, but also offered productive insights to help understand the crisis and its potential to generate change. The panel serves as a reminder that humans influence environments, and vice versa, and offers a call to action for planners, urban designers, politicians, and the public to start advocating and working for the future they would like to see emerge from this crisis. For additional references cited in the panel discussion, see below:

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