2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic

Luisa Bravo (Producer), Hendrik Tieben (Producer), Lance Jay Brown (Other), Davisi Boontharm (Other), Josefine Fokdal (Other), Tigran Haas (Other), M.G.A.D. Harteveld, Mona Helmy (Other), Fiona Hillary, Jeff Hou, Kevin Hsu, Timothy Jachna (Other), Min Jay Kang, Merham Keleg (Other), Astrid Ley (Other), Setha Low, Michael Mehaffy (Other), Alessandro Melis, Gregor H. Mews Mews, Fabiano MicocciMaggie McCormick, Manfredo Manfredini, Miquel Marti Casanovas (Other), Vikas Mehta, Miodrag Mitrasinovic, Estanislau Roca (Other), Luis Alfonso Saltos Espinoza (Other), Laura Sobral, Darko Radović (Other), Vaso Trova, Charles R. Wolfe (Other)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual ProductsProfessional


Social distance dictated by COVID-19 health emergency affects access to public space and with it creating a range of impacts on different levels. While global lockdown is destabilizing economy and challenging country leaders, at the human level the pandemic is generating isolation and loneliness, with a significant raise of helplessness and fear. Everyone is asked to stay home and rearrange daily routines and work activities in indoor domestic spaces, looking at the world from behind a window. People are dying alone, numbers are increasingly high. Outdoor physical activities are no longer allowed. Many governments seem to lack proper strategies to manage the risk of massive contagion. In the Global South, the poor living in informal settlements have scarce access to water, washing hands could be dangerously impossible. What is the future of public space? How can we face this unprecedented emergency and get prepared for its consequences, in specific regard to health disparity? Public space restrictions will stay in place after recovering from the pandemic? Is there something we can do now altogether?SERIES 1 (7 May - Webinar 1: Reframing the Role of Public Space during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic / 14 May - Webinar 2: Innovative Approaches and Creative Practices in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic / 21 May - Webinar 3: Health Disparity and Public Space in High-Density Environments / 28 May - Webinar 4: Expert Group Discussion with the Audience) SERIES 2 (4 June - Webinar 1: COVID-19 Challenges and Responses in Informal Settlements / 11 June - Webinar 2: Speculative Cities: Thinking forward.Exploring Speculative Practices and how they relate to and/or change Public Space in the current and Post COVID-19 Conditions / 18 June - Webinar 3: Creating Accessible and Inclusive Public Spaces with/for Resilient Communities / 25 June - Webinar 4: Global Design Studio in the Age of Pandemics) SERIES 3 (2 July - Webinar 1: Towards Healthy Cities in the Age of Pandemics / 9 July - Webinar 2: Innovative Approaches and Creative Practices in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic / 16 July - Webinar 3: Rethinking Public Spaces. Exploring the Interplay of the Analogue and Virtual Realm and its Effects on Public and Social Life in Cities / 23 July - Webinar 4: Future Safe and Sustainable Urbanization. Expert Group Discussion with the Audience) SERIES 4 (6 August - Webinar 1: The Impact of the Pandemic to Street Life, Urban Culture and Beyond / 13 August - Webinar 2: Innovative Approaches and Creative Practices in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic / 20 August - Webinar 3: Cities Learning from Pandemics / 27 August - Webinar 4: The Role of Renewable Energy in Post COVID-19 Public Spaces) SERIES 5 (3 September - Webinar 1: Tactical Urbanism as a Crisis Response and as Mobiliser for Systemic Change / 10 September - Webinar 2: Right to the City for Children: from Value Driven Discourse to Transformative Actions / 17 September - Webinar 3: Parks, Piazzas & Pandemics: Promoting Safe Access to Public Places with Data Analytics / 24 September - Webinar 4: The Role of Renewable Energy in Post COVID-19 Public Spaces) .....The '2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic' initiative is developed in partnership with (alphabetical order):A Cidade Precisa de Você, Brazil / Centre for the Future of Places, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden / Cluster for Sustainable Cities, University of Portsmouth, United King / domco+labo radović, Architecture and Urban Design Laboratory, Keio University, Japan / College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, & Orville Simpson Center for Urban Futures, University of Cincinnati, USA / Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, USA / Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, The British University in Egypt (BUE), Egypt / Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly, Greece / Department of International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart, Germany / ETSAB Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), SpainI-AUD, Meiji University, Japan / Integrated Urbanism & Sustainable Design (IUSD), Cairo Lab, Ain Shams University, Egypt / Observatorio Ciudadano por el Derecho a la Ciudad y Espacios Públicos de Guayaquil, Ecuador / Public Space Research Group, Center for Human Environments at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, USA / QUT Design Lab, Queensland University of Technology, Australia / Research LAB for Urban Settlements and Landscapes, Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University, Taiwan / RMIT University, School of Art, CAST - Contemporary Art and Social Transformation Research Group, Australia / Urban @ Parsons, The New School, USA / Urban Commons Lab, University of Washington, USA / Urban Design | Public Space, Department of Urbanism, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands / Urban Relational Informatics Lab, The University of Auckland, New Zealand / Urban Synergies Group, Australia. and in collaboration with (alphabetical order): Lance Jay Brown, Davisi Boontharm, Josefine Fokdal, Tigran Haas, Maurice Harteveld, Mona Helmy, Fiona Hillary, Jeff Hou, Kevin Hsu, Timothy Jachna, Min Jay Kang, Merham M. Keleg, Astrid Ley, Setha Low, Michael Mehaffy, Alessandro Melis, Gregor H. Mews, Fabiano Micocci, Maggie McCormick, Manfredo Manfredini, Miquel Marti Casanovas, Vikas Mehta, Miodrag Mitrasinovic, Estanislau Roca, Luis Alfonso Saltos Espinoza, Laura Sobral, Darko Radović, Vaso Trova, Charles R. Wolfe. 2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic is an initiative jointly developed by City Space Architecture and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Architecture and promoted through The Journal of Public Space.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCity Space Architecture
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • public space
  • public life
  • urban design
  • urban culture
  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus
  • Coronavirus and urbanisation
  • Pandemic
  • innovation
  • creative profession
  • Health
  • health
  • density
  • informal settlements
  • inclusive city
  • resilience and society
  • resilience
  • global city
  • Virtual environment
  • societal challenges
  • future cities
  • sustainability
  • Urbanisation post-pandemic
  • energy
  • tactics
  • crisis response
  • system integration
  • children
  • Value creation
  • safety & security, reliability
  • data analysis
  • right to the city

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