question of how we will inhabit cities after COVID-19 has popped amongst most
urban planners, as we all question urban dynamics and see the pandemic as an
opportunity to reshape not only the way we inhabit cities, but also how we move
the first images from an isolated Wuhan to the photos of empty streets in New
York, the media have shared powerful images that invite urban enthusiasts to
question the use of street space generally dominated by cars.
disruption of our everyday lives brought a perfect momentum for urbanists to
push forward a sustainable mobility agenda as many people worked from home, micro-mobility
became the only type of mobility for many, and even the World Health Organisation
encouraged people to consider riding bikes and walking whenever feasible.
public transportation and cab services are still considered risky spaces for
infection, local governments decided to pedestrianise streets and broaden bike
lanes in cities such as New York, Berlin, Milan, Bogota, Barcelona, Mexico
City, Paris, Vienna, Sydney and Brussels.
and local governments have described it as a moment for mobility to change, an
approach that is still to be tested once the social distancing restrictions are
lifted, and the use of walking and biking is tested versus motorised
transportation such as motorbikes and cars.
affluence dropped to almost 40% in most major cities; some cities adopted temporary
measures implementing pop-up bike lanes while others fast-tracked bike
paths scheduled in the pre-corona city planning.
mobility adapting to a health crisis
One of the most relevant
examples of city mobility adapted to the health crisis is Paris. The region plans to invest
300 million euros in building 650 kilometres of pop-up and pre-planned
cycleway infrastructure. In an overnight operation
street workers blocked traffic and painted bike icons
streets into safe streets for biking.
lockdown and the decrease in car traffic accelerated the implementation of the
which is part of major Anne Hidalgo’s promise
to turn every street in Paris cycle-friendly by 2024.
introduced 20 kilometres of pop-up bike lanes, as Berlin Roads and Parks
Department official Felix Weisbrich called this a “pandemic-resilient
infrastructure.” As the pandemic has
accelerated the discussions in districts and municipal parliaments, public
officials can push for urban infrastructure to be implemented
ata faster speed than what the bouroucratic procedure would usually take.
city of Milan implemented the “Strade
Aperte” plan which contemplated the
transformation of 35
kilometres of city streets into either pedestrian or cyclists roads. The
Italian government issued bike-friendly traffic rules and promised people in
bigger cities to provide a subsidy of up to 60 per cent of the price for the
purchase of bicycles and e-scooters, up to a maximum of 500 euros.
planned to build a total of 40 kilometers of new cycle lanes.
While the British government announced an
emergency plan of 250 million pounds
set up pop-up bike lanes, safer junctions and cycle-only corridors.
Bogotá is one of the cities with the largest pop-up cycling lanes expansion
during the pandemic crisis as the city implemented 80km of temporary in-street
bikeways to supplement 550 km existing bike paths.
pop-up infrastructure like removable tape and mobile signs not only makes it
easier for people riding bikes to keep self-distancing,
but it also encourages people who would not cycle regularly to explore new ways
of transportation in a more comfortable space.
What about cars?
adaptation to COVID-19 is not always sustainable and resilient. The sanitary
measures present a risk as cars represent a tool for isolated mobility.
Car-centric cities may continue to be so as car use increases.
there is a higher demand for activities to restart under social distancing
conditions, many cities in Europe started embracing drive-in culture not only
for food but also for churches, cinemas and even concerts.
of drive-in entertainment alternatives take place in the outskirts of cities as
it is the case in Lithuania and Denmark. German car cinemas became
popular near Cologne, and the city of Schüttorf close to the border of Germany
and the Netherlands hosted a party in a drive-in club where the performer
invited people to “honk if they were having a good
the United States, famous for its drive-in culture, a strip club continued operation under this new modality that would allow people to
keep distance as the attendees stayed inside their cars.
drive-ins help entertainment industries to cope with the closures imposed by
the sanitary restrictions, there is a risk, especially in the suburbs, to
develop an even more motorised culture and a lifestyle that is more dependable
What can urban planning learn from past epidemics?
of the first examples of a city adapting to an epidemic is the cholera outbreak
mapped by John Snow which encouraged cities to
establish higher hygiene standards and prompted the relevance of statistical
data in city planning.
more recent outbreaks like the case of SARS epidemic that affected cities in
China, South East Asia and Canada highlighted the vulnerability of dense cities
to become arenas for a fast spread of the virus. Although
the use of public transportation was reduced in cities like Taipei, -the daily
ridership of public transportation decreased to 50% during
the peak of the 2003 SARS period– there is no significant evidence of a shift
toward sustainable transportation. The SARS epidemic provided
more examples of social control and exceptionalism than examples of sustainable
the case of Covid-19, even if urbanists hope for the outbreak to be a
significant opportunity to design more sustainable cities in the “new
normality”, and car sales have drastically dropped, there is hope in the car
industry for sales to rise once the distance regulations
are eased since people will opt for a car to comply with social distancing
Korea and China the fears of contracting the Coronavirus have already shown an
increase in the sales of cars and in the United States, according to the IBM study on Consumer Behavior Alterations, “More
than 20 percent
of respondents who regularly used buses, subways or
trains now said they no longer would, and
another 28 percent said they will likely use public transportation less often.”.
addition, they claim that “more
than 17 percent of people surveyed said that they intend to use their personal
vehicle more as a result of COVID-19, with approximately 1 in 4
saying they will use it as their exclusive mode of transportation
going forward.” .
this matter, public transportation might be the most affected in terms of
revenue, New York City metro system reported its worst
financial crisis as their ridership decreased by 90%, while London Underground
put one quarter of its staff in furlough as it has only been used at a 5% of
its capacity for the past months. Even
after the social distancing measures are eased, public transport might be
considered more hazardous than other means of transportation
and be the most affected financially.
Can city mobility restart in a resilient way?
the biggest part of the crisis has passed and we
will inhabit cities with eased
sanitary restrictions is still uncertain whether
mobility patterns will be affected in a permanent way. Further data will show
the coronavirus pandemic did encourage the creation of instruments for the
implementations of sustainable mobility or it perpetuated a car centered approach.
far, at a medium-term, the relevance of longer-trips has
been questioned, and work from home acquired
significance as an alternative to commutes. Trips are expected to be carried
out mostly by walking, cycling and driving a personal car
and the investment in cycling infrastructure will remain as a long-term outcome
of this pandemic.
outcomes of this experience can also have a long-term impact
as they will be documented
in guidelines and the experience will set a precedent for critical and
resilient responses for local governments.
For instance, the guide for temporary bike lanes
titled “Making a safe space for cycling in 10 days”, developed by the consultancy
Mobicon, delineates what should the first relevant action should
to keep safe distance while boosting more sustainable commutes.
restoration of activities in dense cities might not bring an
automatic radical change in mobility behaviour and policy but,
despite the circumstances, life under social distancing became an
actual experimental period that many urbanists have dreamed
of and many citizens had not experimented before.
relevant question now is whether we will be able to maintain partially closed
streets and broader bike lanes after lockdown restrictions are lifted once
cities get through this moment, hoping for planners, public officials and
citizens to recognise the perks of having more room and infrastructure for
Saturday 06 March at the Dopotutto Beer&Food Experience the third session of the co-design lab of the Local Action Plan of the Rome Collaboratory took place.
After a brief presentation of the activities defined during the weekly teamwork meetings, the session started. The participants, divided in groups according to the activities that they are developing, finalized the business plan and identified the stakeholders to be engaged in the sustainable tourism platform.
The Bike Tours group analyzed the documents needed to carry out the operation and discussed the possibility of including in the project an NGO that would provide technical assistance and support for the guides of the bike tours.
The Local Campaign group focused on defining an online and offline communication strategy aimed at promoting a narrative on the Heritage Site. The group also finalized the planning of the Living Memory Exhibition. The Living Memory Exhibition will include a contest of street art, photography, poetry and writing to involve the local creatives active in the district.
The Living Memory Exhibition & Heritage Site group proposed to set up a photographic exhibition in the Tunnel with musical entertainment involving local music networks such us the Popular Initiative Center of Alessandrino (CIP).
The session ended with the planning of the teamworks’ activities for the incoming week
Costa Rica began this 2019 a project of Social Housing in collaboration with
the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements, and the real estate development
council. The intention of this project is to apply the Co-City methodology in a
collaborative experience between the academic sector, the public sector and
The idea is
born from the previous social housing LabGov approach, following the work
presented at Matera with Federcasa in 2018. In this past encounter in fact a
series of documents
were generated around the idea of the “house as a common” that come to be the
theoretical foundation, among others, of this project in Costa Rica.
The objective of the project is to propose a new Social Housing solution within the framework of an urban regeneration plan that integrates the design of common goods, applies the transect and mega-blocks model, reflecting the new urban values: compactness , participation, 24/7, pedestrian friendly, mixed use, and self-sufficient, in terms of consumption and production of energy, information, goods and services.
is promoted by the academy, under the guidance of the teacher of Urban Design
courses and the Coordinators of Research and Extension of the School of
Architecture at Universidad Latina, as well as those responsible for the
project for the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements. The work of those
involved will be to follow up on the proposals that will be formulated through
presentations, focus groups, talks and working groups to finally evaluate the
possibility of applying the project.
One of the
main strategies is taking advantage of land management instruments and
international experiences in social housing.
we are going to generate a novel proposal to solve the access to decent housing
for populations in need (elderly, young people, people with disabilities) avoiding
the discrimination that generate projects that are exclusively dedicated to
these users; and thus respond to a new conception of the city, as was proposed
in the New Urban Agenda presented in Habitat III, in Quito in 2016.
it, we propose a strategy so that the buildings offer a % of units for social
housing even being designed for the middle class; this in order to reduce
discrimination and integrate users’ social level and in the urban fabric.
implementation area is located in the center of the capital, San José, in the
south area between the Sabana Metropolitan Park, and near the Pacific Railway Station,
in Víquez Square, developing along a stretch of the railway line in a desolate
area of particular abandonment. This is also due to the fact that originally it
was an area for industrial use that no longer works as such, reason why the
residential areas of south of San José have developed mostly to meet the need
for workers’ residences. Although the blocks of small wooden houses are
characteristic of an era and a social class, the abandonment has strongly
affected this sector causing deterioration of buildings, insecurity and poor
investment in public infrastructure.
challenge to redeem this sector is the image of the neighborhood, the anti-fame
and the current absence of a real group of neighbors, who gradually moved away
from the center. Despite this, the potential of this area is linked to the fact
that it belongs to the historic center of the capital, is a well-served area,
full of buildings that can be recovered, a use of mixed land ranging from
residential, commercial, institutional and industrial past, as well as being
located in one of the main axes of east-west mobility, both in private and
public transport mode.
reason, both from the public sector, and from the private sector, there is an
interest in redeeming the district, as well as intervening throughout the
portion of the railway line between the Metropolitan Park and the square. This
is related to certain public policies that today aim to strengthen the use of
the train as an alternative transport in response to the increase in vehicular
In order to
make a feasible proposal, the students started from the process of the Cheap talk and Mapping directly on site, summing up the perception of the spaces
as the potential of the same with various meetings and surveys. So far, these
first two stages of the “Co-City cycle” process involved more than 15
students, 3 experts in mobility and land management, a deputy minister and
ministerial councilors, 2 university professors and several residents
interviewed during the days (and evenings) of inspection.
the project is in a Practicing phase
with the support of Ministry technicians and the timely intervention of experts
from the private sector – belonging to the chamber of real estate developers,
working on a phase of co-creation of specific proposals of commons (both
intervention, as well as new implementations) and mixed-use building
development (offices, commerce, residential and public use).
It is projected to reach a more mature phase of Prototype of the master plan during the half of the current year, to then put the proposals to the test, in a Testing phase in front of a jury composed of experts in the sector, public, private sector and the civil society of the interested parties. The idea of turning a university course into a research laboratory where new urbanistic and architectural ideas are put to the service of citizenship, is not new in the international experience of LabGov, but what we propose for the first time is to co-design with all the actors involved an innovative project, both on the front of the design as on the legal source, that is to say the feasibility from the executive point of view, which depends on the public institutions and the interest of the companies.
 Monica Bernardi, Christian Iaione,
Chiara Prevete, Home Pooling: Applying co-governance to the housing sector. And
“Analisi empirica dell’innovazione nel finanziamento per le infrastrutture
the date: next Saturday, 9th March we will host the first EDU@LabGov
community gardening session in Luiss Community Garden from 10 am to 12am.
LabGovers will work with recycled materials in order to build a prototype that
they will install in Luiss and in the city of Rome. If you are interested in
following their work, follow our official social network!
the community gardening session, the LabGovers will put into practice what they are learning during the forms in the classroom
therefore it will represent ahead important footstep in the realization of
The assisted gardening is not only a didactic
moment but an activity of practical collaborative among the boundaries of the University
Luiss Guido Carli, that then the students will experiment on the field in the
city of Rome.
Save the date: Sabato 9 marzo si terrà
il primo community gardening della Clinica Urbana EDU@LabGov presso l’#OrtoLuiss
dalle 10:00 alle 12:00.
Durante la sessione di community
gardening i LabGovers, divisi dapprima in quattro gruppi sulle diverse aree di
lavoro, dovranno presentare i dati raccolti nel corso della settimana e
iniziare a dar forma al loro progetto. Inizieranno quindi un laboratorio di
auto-costruzione che, tramite l’utilizzo di materiali riciclati, li porterà a
realizzare un prototipo che installeranno nella città di Roma. Se volete
saperne di più rimanete connessi ai nostri account social ufficiali quel
è mettere in pratica ciò che gli studenti stanno apprendendo durante i moduli
in aula, quindi rappresenterà un importante passo avanti nella realizzazione
della loro idea.
Il gardening assistito non è solo un
momento didattico ma un’attività di pratica collaborativa tra le mura
dell’Università Luiss Guido Carli, che poi gli studenti sperimenteranno sul
campo nella città di Roma.
In fact, among the difficulties faced by the various urban contexts, there is the one concerning poverty.
This article, written after the seminar on 11 October 2018, during the European Week of Regions and Cities, quotes as an example the six cities Barcelona, Birmingham, Lille, Nantes, Pozzuoli, Turin, which participate in the first call for proposals on the theme of urban poverty and which are adopting, with the support of UIA, innovative solutions to tackle this problem.
One of the most interesting aspects that emerges from the article is the one concerning the Public-private-community partnerships. In these particular types of partnership there is a more specific focus on what concerns the local foundation and the local development. In fact, the various target groups have been involved in the projects since the beginning.
A good example of how the Public-private-community partnerships can be particularly effective in combating the poverty is in the Co-city project from Turin where the municipality collaborates in the governance of the Commons with the various local associations and residents through the “Pacts of collaboration “. These are described by Christian Iaione, professor at Luiss Guido Carli and expert of the Co-City project, as “legal tool through which the forms of cooperation between city inhabitants and the City administration address urban poverty through an urban commons-based approach i.e. stimulating collective use, management, ownership of urban assets, services, the way infrastructure is implemented”.