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Cities need to build networks and share plans to emerge stronger from COVID-19

14.12.2020 13:48

Nature magazine has published a comment on the role of networks to make cities more resilient, co-written by Branco Weiss Alumna Harini Nagendra. Cities need an extensive rethink of how they are governed and run, the authors state. They need to strengthen leadership and health-care systems, improve how they communicate, source more food, goods and services locally, give a greater priority to nature and combat inequalities.

Responses to the pandemic in India’s slums, Brazil’s favelas and Africa’s marketplaces show that networks play a crucial part. Networks within and between cities need strengthening and extending to make urban regions more resilient to future pandemics and other crises such as climate change: “By building links now, cities will be better placed to act quickly and be able to give or receive help from others when another disaster strikes.” The authors call for cities to develop ‘networked functional resilience’ by sharing and coordinating disaster risk plans and actions.

“Cities have survived countless disasters throughout history from wars to famines,” the text concludes. “COVID-19 now shows that cities must also learn, adapt and evolve — together.”

Read the article on Nature