We Need to Reorganize the City

'Home' has rarely been more of a life or death situation

'Home' has rarely been more of a life or death situation

We Need to Reorganize the City

By Alfredo Brillembourg, professor of architecture and urban design, founder of Urban-Think Tank
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Corona Essays

Iwan Baan
We Need to Reorganize the City
We Need to Reorganize the City
'Home' has rarely been more of a life or death situation
Manuel Toz
Pandemien vil sætte sig dybe spor
Pandemien vil sætte sig dybe spor
Engang troede vi, at vi var usårlige. At teknologi og videnskab havde fortrængt overtro og fordomme, og at fremtiden tilhørte den teknologiske nyskabelses vidundere
Justin Paul Ware
Pandemics & Architecture
Pandemics & Architecture
Through this text, teachers and students of the Master Emergency + Resilience at the Università IUAV di Venezia search for a common understanding of the health crisis that is currently facing our planet
Photo by Mulyadi on Unsplash
The Very Nature of the Pandemic is about Human-Environment Relations
The Very Nature of the Pandemic is about Human-Environment Relations
Scientists have warned for a while that we overstep planetary boundaries, but our current economic system rests on and reproduces other boundaries
Byen blev pludselig meningsløs
Byen blev pludselig meningsløs
Vi har i skrivende stund ramt fjerde (eller er det femte?) uge af samfundets nedlukning. Solen skinner, for foråret er ikke sat i karantæne sammen med alle os andre
The Corona Crisis and the Built Environment
The Corona Crisis and the Built Environment
Planning of the Utopian City
Photo by Vlado Paunovic from Pexels
Tanker i en forandret by
Tanker i en forandret by
TÆNK, at kunne værdsætte at gå en tur. Nu, hvor det meste af verden er lukket ned, føler jeg mig taknemmelig over, at det er muligt – solen skinner, dagene bliver længere.
Gillian Vann
Spring Doesn’t Pause
Spring Doesn’t Pause
I just finished walking my dogs in Central Park North where everyone keeps their distance. Occasionally, a bicyclist wearing a mask and gloves whizzes past on the road above
A Naked City and a Creative Lockdown
A Naked City and a Creative Lockdown
As a part of my job and the activities inside Lima’s municipality, I had the chance of circulating amongst streets and avenues of my native city, having complete freedom in times of curfew and social distancing
The Corona Curtains
The Corona Curtains
The „shutdown“ is a nightmare for any restaurant, biergarten, bar and comparable facilites that are depending on people meeting each other
Re:habilitation
Re:habilitation
It is without a doubt that we wake up to something new and shocking every day in 2020. Our project deals with the current pandemic that is taking the world by storm: the COVID-19 coronavirus
Tam Wai
Covid-19 and Cities
Covid-19 and Cities
The impacts of COVID-19 have only been felt for less than two months in North America yet the number of articles already declaring the end of the city as we know it is staggering
Photo by NOAA on Unsplash
Nye sammenhænge
Nye sammenhænge
Store samfundsforandringer, krige, pandemier, naturkatastrofer, teknologiske nybrud og politiske omvæltninger har før skubbet og udfordret, men også udviklet samfundet og arkitekturen. Det vil ske igen, og vi arkitekter skal tage et medansvar for, at verden ikke lukker sig om sig selv, men udvikles
Mac Bohme
Potential of Borders and Shared Cultural Infrastructure
Potential of Borders and Shared Cultural Infrastructure
We set the borders out as the first thing but no longer think about their lifecycle or how we treat them
Daniel Terry
Curated Apertures
Curated Apertures
A guide to placemaking in isolation
Painting by Madeleine Hatz, “Camouflage Painting”
The World’s Recovery
The World’s Recovery
The coronavirus emerged because an an-human ecosystem was penetrated by humans and rejigged for exploitation. Maybe it was just two guys with a pickup truck – with the same mind that drills for oil in the arctic and mines at the bottom of the ocean

Housing has become the front-line defense against the Covid-19 outbreak. Home has rarely been more of a life or death situation.

According to the UN, approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide live in homelessness and grossly inadequate housing. By ensuring access to secure housing with adequate sanitation, governments will not only protect the lives of those who are homeless or living in informal settlements but will help protect the entire world’s population by flattening the curve of Covid-19. I am deeply concerned about two specific populations groups: those living in emergency shelters, homelessness and informal settlements, and those facing job loss and economic hardship which could result in mortgage and rental arrears and evictions.

People affected by humanitarian crises, particularly those displaced and/or living in camps and camp-like settings, are often faced with specific challenges and vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration when planning for readiness and response operations for the Covid-19 outbreak and possible future pandemics. These are people that are frequently neglected, stigmatized, and may face difficulties in accessing health services that are otherwise available to a general population. In this context, Urban-Think Tank has been working to raise global attention to favelas, slums, and townships for the last 20 years.

The economic consequences for those in informal settlements will be long-lasting. As cities suspend daily activities and restrict movement, day laborers and those in informal employment will lose their income. This can result in people being forced to leave their homes due to their inability to pay rent. Without any social benefits, they will be unable to care for their families. It is of extreme importance from a protection and human-rights and public health perspective, that people affected by humanitarian crises are included in all Covid-19 outbreak readiness and response strategies, plans and operations. There is a strong public health rationale to extend all measures to everyone, regardless of status and ensuring inclusiveness.

What we do today will change the cities of tomorrow. To make them safe and inclusive, and resilient for future crises a mapping should be undertaken to identify the areas most at risk: areas where people are living in particularly overcrowded conditions, with higher densities, with less space for expansion, more in contact with at-risk residents, or with higher proportions of vulnerable residents. Wherever possible, mitigation measures to reduce overcrowding should be put in place: collective sites in which several households are sharing the same shelter should be upgraded as much as possible to achieve minimum shelter standards of personal covered living space and household partitions.

Households living in individual accommodation below minimum shelter standards should be supported to improve those standards, particularly by increasing the covered living space in case of overcrowding. Vulnerable populations should be prioritized. In places where several households are sharing latrines or cooking facilities, additional facilities should be built to reduce the health risks of spreading the virus and diseases in general.

Additional land should be negotiated to allow for expansions. There may also be more combination between state intervention and laissez-faire policies. In many cases, the city is both a stricken center and the disaster relief center. Its functional-space structure has developed in a long historical process, and should meet the daily needs of the city, as well as be constantly optimized with the development and transformation of the city. This is a continuous, progressive and stable urban evolution process that Urban-Think Tank is involved in.

As a fundamental response to the Covid-19 crisis, and as much as ever, Urban-Think Tank invokes the right to adequate housing.

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