UTC “The New Urban Normal”, June 2020.
Our new publication *The New Urban Normal: Urban Sustainability and Resilience Post-COVID-19* is out and available for download from this LINK. This is the result of the online Urban Thinkers Campus with the same title organised by the Global Urban Lab and the group of TU Delft Spatial Planning and Strategy in June 2020.
This book was co-edited by Roberto Rocco, Caroline Newton, Luz Maria Vergara d’Alençon, Igor Pessoa, and Anja Van Der Watt in partnership with the World Urban Campaign, the Global Urban Lab, TU Delft | Global Initiative and the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft
The COVID19 pandemic has exposed several systemic failures and injustices in the way cities are planned and designed around the world. It has also exposed the failings due to lack of planning in most places in the Global South.
Careful, inclusive and participatory spatial planning is thought to greatly strengthen the capacity of societies to withstand systemic shocks, as testified by the New Urban Agenda (2016), the Pact of Amsterdam (2016) and the New Leipzig Charter (2020). Integrated affordable housing, for instance, has come to the top of the agenda once again, now propelled by the realisation that slum dwellers (a staggering 1 billion people around the world) and homeless people are particularly vulnerable to health crises and other societal shocks.
The pandemic has been saluted as an opportunity to implement far-reaching transformation of our societies towards sustainability and justice, but little signs of systemic change have actually surfaced. For example, several cities around the world claim they will overhaul public space,
take space from private cars, and invest more on green spaces, bicycle paths and quality public mobility. But little has been said about addressing the structural causes of inequality. The champions of the circular economy salute the pandemic as a new dawn for more human-centred
capitalism, for the abandonment of exploitation and unfair distribution, and a world where workers can find decent housing, health, work and leisure. But what is actually happening on the ground?
With contributions from Mrudhula Koshy (NTNU Norway), Higor Rafael de Souza Carvalho (University of Sao Paulo), George Zaborski (Belorussian activist), Javier Ruiz-Tagle (PUC Chile), Sander Happaerts (EC DG-Regio), Robert Magowan (Activist Green House), Julian Siravo (Common Wealth UK Think Tank), Costanza La Mantia (Consultant and activist), Esther Karanja (University of Kenya), Temitope Ogungbamila, ThnakGod Dikio (NSIS Federation Nigeria), Caroline Skinner (Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising, South Africa) and Professor Julio D Dávila (DPU, Bartlett, UCL).
This volume attempts to give an account of the “first reactions” to the pandemic in cities in the Global South.