The first priority in the COVID-19 pandemic was to save lives, in an effort to avoid even more devastating economic losses if strict lockdown and isolation were not put in place.
But that priority could be reversed in the wake of the crisis, and lessons that would open up paths for shaping better cities could be discarded.
“The pandemic served to raise awareness of the need to change the urban paradigm,” while at the same time awakening “spontaneous solidarity among networked citizens, many helping neighbours who they previously ignored,” said Carmen Santana, a Chilean city planner who splits her time between Paris and Barcelona, Spain.
Social inequality, already so widespread in Latin America, has been exacerbated now that this region is becoming the epicentre of the pandemic, and is taking its toll in lives.