Many Mayors Don't Expect Public Realm Changes to Stick, Survey Says

A third of mayors surveyed said that despite increased outdoor activity, many of the changes made in the public realm during the pandemic won't be a part of a new normal.

April 5, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Mayors expect their residents to spend more time outdoors after being inspired to do so amid the coronavirus pandemic, but few leaders are looking to incorporate pandemic-fueled changes to those spaces into long-term plans," reports Chris Teale.

Teale is sharing the news of the Menino Survey of Mayors from Boston University. Of the 130 mayors surveyed for the report, just over a third "said they do not expect to see changes made to outdoor spaces during the pandemic — like expanded outdoor dining and infrastructure — last long-term due to budgetary constraints," according to Teale.

The mayors who decide to roll back pandemic planning features like al fresco dining programs and open streets will be cutting against the grain of another survey finding. Two-thirds of surveyed mayors say they believe residents will spend more times outdoors after the pandemic. 

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