The COVID City

20 OCT 2020
The reaction to COVID around the world has been mixed and varied, but one of the more interesting responses has been the way that cities are changing, not just because of government intervention - but despite it.

Hong Kong is a good example. It was the population that took to wearing masks in the face of the governments refusal to accept the need - it was not until much later that they changed their tune. It was the population that pressed for some isolation rules - in particular the installation of plastic screens between diners in restaurants. Such has been the case around the world too.

In some European parks painted circles have appeared on the grass indicating to users where to sit, and so isolate themselves from others. This sort of activity has been termed tactical urbanism - though in many ways they are the anti-thesis of urbanism. But perhaps necessary in these times. And they have largely been implemented in an ad hoc manner using available materials - and not designed by professionals with the costs and timelines such procedures entail. It is an interesting natural experiment.

Citylab describes many other instances.

This is a lesson that governments, and disaster movie screenwriters, should pay attention to. People will help themselves and each other in adversity - this sort of wisdom of the masses is common in times of adversity. Individual responsibility adds up to a society wide change whereas impositions from on high are often prove hard to convince the masses.

And we should not be surprised. The aphorism when the going gets tough - the tough get going applies to all of us.
By Hab3