Reopening Public Places: 

While recovery still feels like a long way off, that hasn’t stopped experts from laying out a roadmap for how we may reopen our gathering places.

Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo have pulled together some of the guidelines necessary to safely reopen our broader public realm of transportation infrastructure, sports and arts facilities, Main Streets, and more (Brookings). Meanwhile, Michael Berkowitz makes the case for why social resilience will be vital in the next phase of recovery, after lockdowns are lifted (CityLab).

How our cities can reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic

Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo

A ten-point preparedness plan for our communities

How our cities can reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic

  1. Pandemic-proof airports 
  1. Prepare large-scale civic assets 
  1. Modify vital infrastructure 
  1. Ready key anchor institutions
  1. Embrace telework
  1. Ensure Main Street survives
  1. Protect the arts and creative economy
  1. Assess leading industries and clusters
  1. Upgrade jobs for front-line service workers
  1. Protect less-advantaged communities

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. In the not-too-distant future, the pandemic will end and our cities will return to something approximating normal. What we do over the next 12 to 18 months can ensure that our city and metro economies get up and running again while protecting themselves against similar scenarios in the future. This is a time when our cities and their leaders can and must show the way forward.”

What a Coronavirus Recovery Could Look Like

Key Questions:

First: Define this concept of resilience in cities. What is it, and how do you build it?

What are the best examples of good governance you’ve seen so far in the coronavirus response?

How would you rate the resilience that the U.S. has shown so far?

“We’re going to get a whole new generation of infrastructure because of this pandemic, and we have to do it better than last generation.”

What kinds of actions should communities take now to prepare for that second phase?  

What might some of those opportunities be?

These are large-scale changes to improve the resiliency of infrastructure and economies — what about for individuals or neighborhoods? What can they do to strengthen our collective recovery?

What are some other ways that individuals can help?

It’s obviously true that more crises await us in the future — but one thing that is especially hard about this one is the total lack of certainty about the duration. It’s hard to imagine the future because the end of coronavirus — with all of its human, social, emotional, and economic costs — is so difficult to make out. As someone who has a lot of experience with disaster, do you have any advice or remarks for those of us struggling with the scale and uncertainty of all this?

That is the $1 trillion question right now for our leaders. So let me go back to a smaller scale. How can individuals prepare to hold their elected officials accountable to that kind of change?