The Penn Institute for Urban Research has just launched a new initiative called, Cities and Contagion: Lessons from COVID-19. The inaugural piece is a special edition of its Urban Link publication. But going forward, the initiative is planned to include not only publications, but a resource library, convenings (online and offline, when appropriate), and research projects. The objective is to bring together experts from different disciplines to discuss the impacts of this pandemic on cities, as well as the possible responses going forward. You can find the first set of articles, here. Some of the contributions include, “Agglomeration economies are not going away” (Jessie Handbury) and, “There’s no substitute for cities” (Richard Voith and Susan Wachter). The titles alone should give you a taste of what you can expect from this first publication.
Photo by Patrick Mueller on Unsplash
The opening sentence to the intellectual study began, “As many have observed, cities are humankind’s earliest inventions;”. I was unable to read the rest because I know of no one person, much less many, who have “observed” this phenomena. There were so many better ways to begin this introduction and I hope that as you intellectuals move forward with this important project, that you simply state fact and build your best practice responses to a pandemic. Good luck.