Part III of Cooper Robertson Talk Series
Though cities and urban environments have historically been the epicenter of infectious disease, most urban residents alive today have never had to contend with an outbreak of the current pandemic scale. Within a span of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pervasive urban and social issues in underserved neighborhoods across the United States, highlighting disparities in access to open and green space, healthcare, pharmacies, food, and critical equipment such as masks.
In responding to the current pandemic and looking to the future, what can planners, designers, and public officials learn about how to make neighborhoods and communities more resilient?
Convened and facilitated by leading urban design firm Cooper Robertson, this live-streamed talk explores how to better define and implement concepts of social resiliency and equitable access. A panel of preeminent designers, planners and public agency and community leaders will discuss what resiliency means in the context of COVID-19, the effects of the pandemic on the presenters’ own work, neighborhoods and cities, and future implications for how cities are designed and planned with respect to resource allocation, social safety and health. Specific topics of discussion include:
• What COVID-19 has taught us about how cities need to plan, build and design differently in the future
• What social resiliency means in the context of a pandemic and public health crisis
• Strategies for formalizing traditionally informal models of resiliency
• What neighborhoods and communities need in order to be “resilient,” and implications for locally-led, grassroots efforts
• How much influence disaster planning considerations should have in the future creation of urban environments
This virtual panel will offer an opportunity for participants to join in conversation with these experts and with their peers, sharing their experience of this seemingly unprecedented pandemic — with an eye towards illuminating better strategies for engaging communities in the pursuit of enhanced public service, and the creation of more equitable urban environments.
• Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA, founding principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects
• Raymond Figueroa-Reyes, president, New York City Community Garden Coalition
• Ethan Kent, Executive Director, PlacemakingX
• Eamon O’ Connor, Gehl (moderator)
• Anjulie Palta, designer, Cooper Robertson (convener / introductory remarks)
Thursday, April 30, 2020