UTC The New Urban Normal Part 1: Perspectives from the Global South
The New Urban Normal: Urban Sustainability and Resilience Post COVID19
Part #1 - Perspectives from the Global South
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About the event
The COVID19 pandemic has exposed several systemic failures and injustices in the way cities are planned and designed around the world, not least connected to the capacity of societies to withstand systemic shocks. Housing, for instance, has come to the top of the agenda once again, now propelled by the realisation that slums dwellers (1 billion people around the world) and homeless people are particularly vulnerable to health crises. Inequality is particularly harmful, because while the very poor are most vulnerable to societal disarray, the interconnectedness of our societies mean that we are all equally affected by those system shocks. The pandemic is saluted as an opportunity to implement far-reaching systems change. For example, several cities around the world claim they will overhaul public space, take space from private cars, and invest more on green spaces, bicycle paths and quality public mobility. The champions of the circular economy salute the pandemic as a new dawn for more human-centred capitalism, for the abandonment of exploitation and unfair distribution, and a world where workers can find housing, health, work and leisure fairly distributed. But what is actually happening on the ground? The Indian government has recently foregone all labour protection laws in favour of competitiveness and entrepreneurialism. In Latin America, workers are losing rights and social protection. Is COVID19 the dawn of a new world, or the radicalisation of neoliberalism, predicted by Naomi Klein in her book “The Shock Doctrine”?
This event gave a voice to young scholars from the Global South giving an account on the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their cities and regions, with a focus on innovative responses from civil society and governments. It aimed at discussing the underlying issues of urban development made explicit by the pandemic and to reflect on the long-term impacts of the pandemic, including the possibility to “build back better” while addressing other emergencies such as climate change, growing inequality, and democratic erosion.
Dr. Luz Maria Vergara and Dr. Igor Pessoa (TU Delft)
Mrudhula Koshi (State of Kerala, India) (PhD candidate, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Higor Carvalho (São Paulo, Brazil) (PhD candidate, Universidade de São Paulo, former advisor for the secretary of housing for the City of São Paulo)
George Zaborski (Minsk, Belarus) (Minsk Urban Platform)
Javier Ruiz-Tagle (Santiago, Chile) (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile)
Dr. Roberto Rocco and Dr. Caroline Newton (TU Delft)
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