The Post Covid-19 city: finding recovery in (landscape) architecture

18/06/2020Archipelago architects
Content 2 Archipelago Provincie domein Leuven

With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, it is over 4.5 billion people that have been instructed to stay at home by their governments to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus since March 2020. Traffic stopped, streets emptied, became silent, and we could hear birds outside. The majority of people live in apartment blocks and each trip outside has become a physical as well as a mental expedition: mask, check, hand sanitizer or gloves, check. Plus, some of us are now spending 24h in our homes, struggling between kids running around - because schools are closed - and trying to cover our working hours. For others, insolation has been a very lonely and depressing time with social distancing restricting us from all face-to-face human contact. But others actually enjoy their extra free time and take the opportunity to spend time with their family, take up again ‘forgotten’ hobbies, etc.

As European countries are easing their lockdown restrictions, how do we ensure the safety of our streets and public spaces? In case of a new virus outbreak or climate crisis, how do we guarantee that our buildings preserve people’s physical and mental health? We are living in a “real time laboratory” under the pandemic. So, isn’t this situation of exception the opportunity to rethink our ways of living, caring, learning and working, for a more sustainable and resilient future?

Tatiana Sao Chan Cheong / Architect / Landscape designer
Archipelago architects