Coronavirus and its Impacts on Urbanism

whighlander

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I am excited to see the restoration of this streetscape and the potential for pedestrians. See this image of pre-artery days: https://northendwaterfront.com/2018/05/historic-neighborhood-photo-haymarket-street-market/
Mike -- given how the world has changed over the decades

and more significantly perhaps if the current type of Coronovirus becomes a permanent fixture [if only on a seasonal basis]
then we may never go back to the Halcyon days of routine pedestrian crowds?

 

Life Coach Mike

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Mike -- given how the world has changed over the decades

and more significantly perhaps if the current type of Coronovirus becomes a permanent fixture [if only on a seasonal basis]
then we may never go back to the Halcyon days of routine pedestrian crowds?

Whighlander: It will be interesting to see if we've turned that frightful corner...drug-resistant/vaccine resistant strains of germs that we cannot combat with the "old" methods. Yes, the world will be far different without the ability for crowds to gather. I'd hate to see the routine use of face masks, as we see in Japan and China. Anonymous faces in an increasingly mechanized world.
 

Shepard

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I'm surprised to see we only have a short conversation going on this in the transit forum. I wanted to open it up to broader implications for urbanism and architecture in general. The radical changes to public life sustained over several months make me think that we might end up seeing some lasting impacts from this.
 

KentXie

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There might be a movement towards more remote working post-coronavirus.

That being said, I also want to take the time to wish everyone well and safe here during these turbulent time
 

ErnieAdams

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  • What is commercial real estate worth on the other side of this? The amount of Class A office space sitting unused right now has to be astounding.
  • What is inner-core residential real estate worth on the other side of this? Wonder whether 2019 buyers will end up feeling like 2005-06 buyers did.
 

JumboBuc

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I'm surprised to see we only have a short conversation going on this in the transit forum. I wanted to open it up to broader implications for urbanism and architecture in general. The radical changes to public life sustained over several months make me think that we might end up seeing some lasting impacts from this.
Urban environments persisted through the Black Death, the Spanish Flu, and countless other devastating epidemics and pandemics throughout history. Was 1918 a turning point for any elements of Boston's urbanism or architecture?

COVID-19 is going to seriously impact all of us over the short- to medium-term, but I doubt it will result in many significant changes to our urban environments in the long run.

There might be a movement towards more remote working post-coronavirus.
I could also imagine the sentiment towards remote working souring if we end up with a significant drop in productivity as many jobs suddenly shift to at-home work during this crisis.
 

HenryAlan

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There might be a movement towards more remote working post-coronavirus.

That being said, I also want to take the time to wish everyone well and safe here during these turbulent time
Ultimately, I think people are going to miss going to work and will eagerly embrace returning to it. It won't take long before people begin to see the many downsides of remote work and indirect social interaction.
 

meddlepal

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Ultimately, I think people are going to miss going to work and will eagerly embrace returning to it. It won't take long before people begin to see the many downsides of remote work and indirect social interaction.
I agree, I think a lot of people don't realize how much work life and work interactions play into people's social existence. It's a lot more important than it seems on the surface.

I wonder if we'll see more minimalist interior designs being embraced in the future, a tilt towards Scandanavian design where surfaces are easy to clean and there are not a lot of nooks and crannies to worry about disinfecting.
 

Shepard

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I'm just astounded (not at all in a negative or bad way) that this forum continues as usual. Like, discussing new retail and restaurant openings, development proposals, etc. I'm usually the first to play skeptic about Very Big Changes Afoot, but truly my world has completely changed. Is it because I have a kindergartner who suddenly needs home schooling and can't have play dates, and a spouse I now need to WFH with every hour of the day? Are other people feeling this? I'm so ensconced in my bubble at the moment that I don't know how the broader landscape appears to people. The newest thinking says we will likely need some form of societal restrictions for up to 18 months. I don't think (or perhaps don't want to think) that we won't be able to ease up on some of the social distancing within that time frame, but, truly, I think this is a New New for a longer while yet.
 

Arlington

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To us, it is a once in a lifetime disaster, but see if you can find an 85 year old and ask them about their experience of WWII as a "kid at home"

World War II upended domestic & civic life on a similar scale and for 4 years.

  • Homes: Victory Gardens & Blackout Curtains
  • Cars: Gas Rationing and headlight blackouts
  • Food: Meat and food rationing
  • Cooking: saving fat for nitroglycerin (sold it back via the butcher at a set government price)
  • Metal: Constant scrap drives (Boston Pubic Garden iron fences melted down)
  • Metal 2: Thanks to junk yards and obsolete machines, we had enough steel to substitute for copper (in pennies) and rubber (on tank treads)
  • Clothes: Regulation L85 limited the material, style, & color of clothing. All silk and nylon was diverted to parachutes, and a boom in rayon (from wood pulp) as a replacement fabric.
  • Rubber: also constant scrap drives for shoes, tires, hot water bottles to be reprocessed into war-vehicle tires.
  • News: propaganda by movie and radio.

It feels crazy. It is a crazy outlier, but for me WWII can provide context. Also that Ann Frank stayed inside for 761 days; 8 people in 450 sq ft.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Stick -- that 's a good idea

I'd devote the next 2 months or so to building and connecting a temporary I-90 bypass so that when traffic picks-up the work on taking down the current viaduct could proceed with the traffic separated from the construction

Let the Gov's Emergency Declaration and if necessary the President's be used to skip or cut through the mammoth amounts of red tape, law suits, etc that would keep the temporary I-90 bypass from being expeditiously constructed -- might knock a couple of years off the timetable
Umm...design before build? Who exactly is available to do an overtime AutoCAD rush job on zero notice for laying out those temp roadways when every qualified firm's offices are locked and empty for those same next 2 months the traffic 'conveniently' won't be there. That stuff is done on hefty computing power engineering workstations; they can't mount this collaboratively from a bunch of Thinkpads on engineers' home kitchen tables.

Please, let's stay grounded in reality here. The world shutting down isn't some grand "opportunity" for novel civil engineering shortcuts like finding some time-pausing cheat code on SimCity. The very shut-downness of the whole fucking world kills that industry's ability to make survival-mode adjustments just as hard as every other industry. Nothing's going to change that. This doesn't have disruptive innovation end-runs.
 

whighlander

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Umm...design before build? Who exactly is available to do an overtime AutoCAD rush job on zero notice for laying out those temp roadways when every qualified firm's offices are locked and empty for those same next 2 months the traffic 'conveniently' won't be there. That stuff is done on hefty computing power engineering workstations; they can't mount this collaboratively from a bunch of Thinkpads on engineers' home kitchen tables.

Please, let's stay grounded in reality here. The world shutting down isn't some grand "opportunity" for novel civil engineering shortcuts like finding some time-pausing cheat code on SimCity. The very shut-downness of the whole fucking world kills that industry's ability to make survival-mode adjustments just as hard as every other industry. Nothing's going to change that. This doesn't have disruptive innovation end-runs.
F-Line -- Yes it does
Neither you nor I are old enough to remember what happened between Dec7 and MacArthur's Speech on the Battleship MO
However there are plenty of documentary materials being played to commemorate the 75th Anniversary
The transformation of the US industry which occurred in relatively short order was Uber dramatic --- even given that the US was already tooling-up to be the Arsenal of Democracy. The COVID-19 Pandemic is an event which is likely to be discussed and studied for many years.

After the "flattening the curve" phase is over -- there will be a fairly prolonged phase of going from essentially stasis to a rapidly growing economy as had been the case in January 2020 everywhere except Central China

If you think that there won't be temporary changes made to regulations to enable the rapid reboot of the economy-- well then you are naive

I'm willing to bet if some project wanted an environmental waver -- it would be granted with even the courts looking only cursorily at such
 

F-Line to Dudley

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F-Line -- Yes it does
Neither you nor I are old enough to remember what happened between Dec7 and MacArthur's Speech on the Battleship MO
However there are plenty of documentary materials being played to commemorate the 75th Anniversary
The transformation of the US industry which occurred in relatively short order was Uber dramatic --- even given that the US was already tooling-up to be the Arsenal of Democracy. The COVID-19 Pandemic is an event which is likely to be discussed and studied for many years.

After the "flattening the curve" phase is over -- there will be a fairly prolonged phase of going from essentially stasis to a rapidly growing economy as had been the case in January 2020 everywhere except Central China

If you think that there won't be temporary changes made to regulations to enable the rapid reboot of the economy-- well then you are naive

I'm willing to bet if some project wanted an environmental waver -- it would be granted with even the courts looking only cursorily at such
What in the everloving hell does the outbreak of WWII and business that had NOT been shut down have to do with a pandemic lockdown where business has ALREADY been shuttered for a week-plus??? Absolutely nothing, that's what.

FFS...you aren't even remotely on-topic in reply to yourself here in this thread. Can we...not...with this schtick when it concerns the national crisis, please???
 

KentXie

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Honestly, a movement towards remote working should be encouraged after this pandemic is over, if not full-time, perhaps part-time, where for example, employees are encouraged to spend 2 out of the 5 workdays at home. The reduction in traffic and thus pollution during the stay-at-home order is drastic and would do a lot to reduce our carbon footprint.
 

Arlington

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Highly likely that banking will be further digitized during this crisis and recovery, which will further change the role of banks as physical retail places of business and change their role in the streetwall of urban areas.

Recall that Sept 11 and Iraq War resulted in .TIF images (ATM and App scanning) replacing paper checks (which used to be *flown* to be physically settled between Federal Reserve districts). That "airline crisis" eventually radically changed our reasons for needing a physical bank.

Having to physically present paper money or a chip seems like a bad way to settle accounts if nobody's leaving their house for 2 to 12 weeks.

Democrats may be ahead of their time in requiring some kind of "postal" e-banking (national personal payments), but no more so than you'd been ahead of the curve by wanting .TIF settlement of checks in the Sept 2001 recovery.
 

shmessy

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Far more people globally traveled and vacationed in 2019 than the year before 9-11. Why? Because after 9-11, the nations of this planet cooperated to put in place a far more integrated and comprehensive system in airports/seaports/communications systems, etc. to combat terrorism and the movements of terrorists.

A similar solution screams to be created for epidemiology in the aftermath of this crisis. Once the current xenophobe in the White House is replaced, be it in 1 or 5 years (it's not political, it's personal psychopathology, so it doesn't matter the next President being Repub, Independent or Dem, just someone who is sane and understanding of the need for international cooperation against health threats), you will see the creation of a system to better combat pandemic threats.

Only then will the hotel/conference/tourism industries be able to convince people to travel again and truly resume their upward trajectory. The silver lining to this pandemic is what can emerge from it for the good of humanity for the next several centuries. The technology exists. We are indeed fortunate that Coronavirus doesn't seem to have the same mortality rates as Ebola, SARS and MERS did. The door is open to advance the future.
 
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Brad Plaid

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Youre both delusional
Possible derailment
Re-orienting the manufacture of most of our drug supply from China, the origin of this outbreak as well as bird flu and SARS, and ramping up domestic production is somehow misguided or not achievable so why bother? Multinational Big Pharma and the Communist Chinese government will fight it and they’ll call in their chips from the American politicians they own but it’s a fight that needs to be a national security priority. The higher cost of domestic drugs would be an issue but that’s not insurmountable. If there’s one thing I have great faith in it’s America’s ingenuity and can-do attitude in solving big problems.
 

bakgwailo

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Possible derailment
Re-orienting the manufacture of most of our drug supply from China, the origin of this outbreak as well as bird flu and SARS, and ramping up domestic production is somehow misguided or not achievable so why bother? Multinational Big Pharma and the Communist Chinese government will fight it and they’ll call in their chips from the American politicians they own but it’s a fight that needs to be a national security priority. The higher cost of domestic drugs would be an issue but that’s not insurmountable. If there’s one thing I have great faith in it’s America’s ingenuity and can-do attitude in solving big problems.
What about the swine flu that most likely originated in North America, and, the "Spanish" Flu was most likely originated in the United States - try to base manufactoring on where the next big pandemic is not going to come from is a lot like trying to time the market. Also, lol @ "Communist Chinese Government" - there is very little about the mainland Chinese government that is communist other than the ruling party's name. As for cost - we already pay exorbitantly higher prices for prescription drugs than the rest of the world, and manufacturing here will only add to that. That, and the rest of the very big problems in healthcare in the United States certainly point to us not having a can-do attitude or ingenuity in solving big-problems in that sector.
 

Arenacale

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Honestly, a movement towards remote working should be encouraged after this pandemic is over, if not full-time, perhaps part-time, where for example, employees are encouraged to spend 2 out of the 5 workdays at home. The reduction in traffic and thus pollution during the stay-at-home order is drastic and would do a lot to reduce our carbon footprint.
I would hope this would be the case, but I suspect the reality is most bosses still won't be able to come to terms with measuring their employee's output and productivity rather than just counting hours. I guess if any situation is going to change managers' minds, though, this would be it.
 

Brad Plaid

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A Tale of Two Chambers.
Reaction to the just-passed Senate version of the coronavirus stimulus bill.

From the Huffington Post
“The emergency coronavirus legislation that the Senate agreed to on Tuesday can only be described as an outrage. It is not an economic rescue package, but a sentence of unprecedented economic inequality and corporate control over our politics that will resonate for a generation.”
The article.

From Fox News
"What's not in the Senate's bipartisan coronavirus bill: Pelosi's outrageous wish list," wrote GOP national spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington. "0 mentions of 'diversity.' 0 mentions of 'emissions.' 0 mentions of 'early voting.' 0 mentions of 'climate change.' Good!”
The article.
House debate of this bill is on Friday.
 

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