People, SOM in the Press

COVID-19 Is Changing the Way Some Planners Think About How to Design and Develop Cities

Dawveed Scully and Natalie Moore sit inside a temporary pavilion designed by Krueck Sexton Partners. Photo Olivia Jia © SOM

Source: WBEZ

Urbanism is defined as the way of life in a city, how it’s designed and developed. With COVID-19 changing the way people live and get around, some planners see the pandemic as an opportunity...

Dawveed Scully, an urban designer with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, an architectural firm, notes this kind of “urbanism in cities is about collective energy and collective activity.”

Scully has heard conversation from urbanists and planners around the country who see the current public health crisis as an opportunity to push for a car-free society or focusing on blocking off streets for weekend brunches in affluent areas.

“But it’s more nuanced than that and there needs to be more thought and specificity focused on key areas on key issues versus just making blanket we can do without cars,” Scully said. “There are still a lot of people who have to get to work — essential workers, people with disabilities. How are we addressing and engaging their needs?”

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