Cities and COVID-19

As the Urban Transformations programme was coming to a close, the global COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning, with devastating implications for countries across the world. The crisis has brought into sharp relief many of the pressing issues examined by different projects in the portfolio, from social inequality and inadequate public health systems to the economic precarity of urban migrants and the governance challenges confronting cities today. As the search for solutions gathers momentum, it is vital that the urban expertise built up through years of support from the ESRC and other public funding bodies in the UK is channelled into mitigating the impacts of COVID-19.

Below are a selection of blogs by project members that demonstrates some of the emerging links between their own research and the challenges of COVID-19:

Were we all trapped? Reflections on immobility during a global pandemic
Caroline Zickgraf

COVID-19, Climate Change and Migration: Constructing Crises, Reinforcing Borders
Elodie Hut, Caroline Zickgraf, Francois Gemenne, Tatiana Castillo Betancourt, Pierre Ozer and Céline Le Flour

India’s cities are just not ready for the COVID-19 fight
Debolina Kundu, Tania Debnath, Biswajit Kar and Rakesh Mishra

Sustainability and the migrant experience in the COVID-19 crisis
Neil Adger, Emily Boyd, Ed Carr, Sonja Fransen, Dominique Jolivet, Anita Fabos, Maria Franco Gavonel and Caroline Zickgraf

Essential, yet expendable: how a pandemic revealed the role of displaced migrants in the Cyprus labour market
The Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies

What staying at home can teach us about the housing experiences of many older people
David Robinson

COVID-19 may be an urban crisis, but India’s small cities will be its ‘collateral damage’
Ayona Datta

Human mobility spreads COVID-19. But whose mobility?
Qiujie Shi and Tao Liu

The impact of COVID-19 in informal settlements – are we paying enough attention?
Annie Wilkinson