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The coronavirus recovery in America’s cities is going to require more than just al fresco dining. As the current resurgence of Covid-19 in several states shows, there’s a broad need to reimagine public space and devise socially distanced ways to navigate the urban landscape over a longer term. In the pandemic’s early days, scores of cities closed streets to vehicle traffic to make room for pedestrians and allow restaurants to claim more sidewalk space. Now that the perils of reopening indoor activities are becoming tragically clear, outdoor space will need to work even harder — hosting stores, performances, and all manner of public services.

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