Posts tagged as: COVID-19 and Cities

  • Blog post

    For the urban poor, trade may be the only lifeline during a pandemic

    Trade routes have been significantly disrupted with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As formal firms reel under the consequent demand and supply shock, the urban poor engaging in informal trade with little social protection have been pushed further into the margins, and are struggling simply for survival.   The outbreak of the plague in Surat, India in 1994 claimed...

    29 Oct 2020 | Astrid Haas, Victoria Delbridge, Nikita Sharma

  • Blog post

    Devolve more power to cities: they will need it more than ever

    Cities with devolved powers can react more quickly to the pandemic. But many don’t have the control they need to respond to shocks. Astrid R.N. Haas and Shahrukh Wani (International Growth Centre) argue that a reluctance by central governments to devolve power is holding them back. COVID-19, like every single pandemic in the last 30 years, started in a city and...

    28 Oct 2020 | Astrid Haas, Shahrukh Wani

  • Blog post

    Property taxes in a pandemic world

    While increasing demands are being placed on cities to address the current crisis and plan for resilience in the future, key sources of city government revenues are drying up. Taxes based on the value of land and/or property offer extraordinary potential for cities in financing urban recovery, but crucial to this is raising tax morale through visible investments in...

    13 Aug 2020 | Astrid Haas, Priya Manwaring, Jennifer Musisi

  • Blog post

    Impact of COVID-19 on public transport

    Public transport has been hit hard by COVID-19. With ridership significantly down, operators in developing cities will have to face difficult questions for their future viability. The appropriate response must plan for contingencies, but never forget the value of shared transit in the process of economic development. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cities across...

    6 Aug 2020 | Julia Bird, Sebastian Kriticos, Nick Tsivanidis

  • Blog post

    Rethinking regulations: Informal settlements in the time of COVID-19

    Informal settlements, given their high densities and lacking water and sanitation infrastructure, are potential hotspots for the spread of pandemics like COVID-19. To remedy this, upgrading informal settlements will be essential. However, for long term resilience, we need to tackle the regulatory challenges that keep formal housing prices unattainable for the urban...

    30 Jul 2020 | Astrid Haas, Victoria Delbridge

  • Blog post

    Crime and COVID-19: Lessons from Cape Town and Karachi

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how vulnerable cities in the global South are to devastation by contagion due to poorly managed population density, resource deprivation, and maladministration. However, there is another epidemic that has been harming these cities for much longer: urban violence. The cities of Cape Town and Karachi, both historically plagued by...

    9 Jul 2020 | Victoria Delbridge, Zoha Waseem

  • Blog post

    In defence of density

    At their core, cities are absences of space between people. You can call it density, closeness, or proximity; it is the opposite of distance. The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has brought this core feature of cities under question. But this criticism paints with a broad brush: what matters are the type of density and the way it is managed. The type of density Density alone...

    3 Jul 2020 | Shlomo Angel, Patrick Lamson-Hall, Oliver Harman, Shahrukh Wani

  • Blog post

    How clean hands can save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Handwashing with soap is the first line of defence against COVID-19. But without active support to improve water, sanitation and hygiene, the world is much more likely to experience prolonged and repeated pandemics. On June 1st, 9-year-old Stephen Wamukota received the Kenyan presidential award for inventing a pedal-operated hand-washing machine. The contraption, fashioned...

    30 Jun 2020 | Sebastian Kriticos, Naison Mutizwa-Mangiza

  • Blog post

    Making policy decisions under uncertainty

    The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed policymakers to high levels of uncertainty: governments simply do not have enough information to know what to do. The result is changing policy decisions mid-course: Britain reversed its strategy of building herd immunity when a new estimate put the likely death toll from this strategy at 250,000 people; America’s Centres for Disease...

    23 Jun 2020 | Paul Collier, Victoria Delbridge, Shahrukh Wani

  • Blog post

    Empowering our cities to fight the pandemics of the future

    Members of the Cities that Work council come together to delineate the critical challenges that need to be addressed to equip our cities to withstand pandemics. Cities accomplish many wonderful things - they enable people to exchange ideas, goods and services, and many other forms of collaboration. However, the fact that they serve as international and national...

    18 Jun 2020 | Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE, Paul Collier, Edward Glaeser, Astrid Haas, Craig Kesson, Jonathan Leape, Jennifer Musisi, Naison Mutizwa-Mangiza, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Tony Venables