How can the impact of a world pandemic accelerate the desire to create more functional and ecological public spaces in urban environments?



Publication Date

August 2022


How can the impact of a world pandemic accelerate the desire to create more functional and ecological public spaces in urban environments?

Dorottya Bekesi 1

BURA Urbanism Amsterdam, 53 KNSM-Laan, Amsterdam, 1019 LB, The Netherlands

Planning a city has always reflected the cultural trends, the technological inventions as well as the world-wide crisis. For instance, new regulations were introduced during the Industrial Revolution for cleaner air, or urban hygiene systems were developed during the cholera epidemic of the 19th century.

Climate change is seen by many as the biggest challenge of the last decade, which is having a significant impact on urban landscapes. Since the spring of 2020, humanity must face a new global problem, the SARS-CoV-2, which greatly changed our way of living. Can the impact of the pandemic accelerate the desire to create better places for the residents while tackling climate change and biodiversity loss?

The research methods are exploratory and experimental, evaluated by a machine learning algorithm (logistic regression). The first part presents how the daily lifestyle has changed as a result of COVID-19. In relation to what are the new social needs for urban public spaces, parks, green- and waterways, and transport. The second part of the research explores the paradoxes that make it difficult for landscape architects to find the balance between current human needs and long-term climate change mitigation goals.

Through the evaluation, the Purmerend waterlandkwartier masterplan – a Dutch redevelopment project in the urban realm – will be presented, which uses the opportunities explored in the research. The conclusion provides answers on how we can make public health needs and climate- and biodiversity emergency requirements equally important in the design process..


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