The current pandemic has provided many lessons on how the design of our built environment contributes to the resilience of communities, both during a crisis and at other times.
The relationship between our built environment and wellbeing has been studied in the past, but the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a wealth of new data and insights that can inform how changes to design may improve community wellbeing and resilience.
Through interviews with health and design professionals, the researchers compiled a series of lessons learned from three periods of the pandemic: the immediate response period, the pre-vaccine period, and a post-vaccine period.
One of the clearest findings was that marginalized and vulnerable communities and individuals were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and that more attention must be paid to addressing the root causes of existing social inequities and community vulnerabilities and taking action to ameliorate them, in order to increase their resilience. The current crisis provides a window of opportunity to plan and implement such positive changes, but we must act while the pandemic is fresh in our minds.
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