COVID-19 has brought new insights into the long-term sustainability of our smart cities and frenzy urban lifestyle. While countries around the world are investing in boosting their healthcare sector and keeping their essential system running, the ongoing pandemic has got the majority questioning the new normal.
On top of being a key challenge to global health governance, the virus has proven to be a litmus test on preparedness and infrastructure.
The promise of better opportunities, accessibility, and improved quality of life attracts people to cities. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs reports that by 2050 more than two-thirds of the global population is expected to live in urban areas.
Covering a mere two percent of the world’s land, the high population density in cities complicates the management of outbreaks, especially a highly transmittable one like COVID-19.
Moreover, the shortcomings of the modern economy have created real tension between addressing the immediate needs that come with the crisis and investing in more sustainable infrastructure.