Medical sector and policy makers working together to improve urban design in order to make cities he
Health guidelines to minimize the spread of Covid 19 are challenging the way we see and use public spaces. Wearing a mask and washing your hands are the easy ways to prevent it. But when it comes to other measures like keeping six feet apart from others it can be difficult to achieve if public spaces only have a four foot standard sidewalk, for instance. Also, avoiding surface contact is not easy when to cross a pedestrian crosswalk requires someone to push a button to cross.
“In the case of COVID-19, Dr. David Rojas, an epidemiologist in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at Colorado State University noticed that when urban areas were not optimized to accommodate mitigation strategies, it put some people in the awkward position of compromising certain public health guidelines to make a necessary trip to their place of work, school, or worship. Or fear of coming in contact with COVID-19 and the inability to safely travel outside the home kept other people inside”.
Dr David Rojas works with policy makers to rethink optimal solutions that will solve these new problems inherited from the pandemic. Urban planning is not just about making impacts in the cities, it also has a lot to do with the implementation of designs that improve people's quality of life in the future.
“Some of the interventions include adjusting traffic light timing to favor pedestrians and cyclists, expanding public open spaces, and concentrating freight traffic on main roads and at nighttime to improve traffic safety”.
At MKThink we are also looking at how places can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how those spaces respond to a strong urban planning that takes in consideration several factors such as sustainability, wellbeing and safety.
To read more:
To read the scientific article Built Environment, Transport, and COVID-19: a Review