Pandemic a Call to Arms for Planners

The pandemic has raised alarms about density. Post-pandemic, urban planners should fight more passionately than ever for progressive principles that make cities more equitable, pleasant, and, yes, healthy.

May 17, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By Josh Stephens @jrstephens310

Coronavirus COVID-19

Pranay Chandra Singh / Shutterstock

"This crisis is a failure of many things. It is a failure of public health policy. It is a failure of information dissemination. It's arguably a failure of foreign policy. It’s definitely a failure of procurement. It is a failure of leadership at the highest levels. But it is not a failure of urban planning. And don’t let anyone tell you differently."

"To prepare for the next pandemic we can stock up on ventilators and masks. We can invest in virology research. We can draft pandemic action plans and quarantine guidelines. We can shelter at home sooner. We can choose not disband the federal Pandemic Response Team."

"Many planners are low-key sorts, happy to focus on details and the often-quiet work of policymaking. In the post-covid19 world, low-key isn’t going to cut it. COVID is a crisis, but it’s also a call to arms. Planners will have to explain, more forcefully and proactively than ever, why density is good."

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