COVID-19, Resilience, and Cities: A Conceptual Introduction


AuthorAleksandra Krstikj, Johannes Rehner, Daniel Lemus-Delgado & Miguel A. Montoya
Line(s)Dinámicas Socioespaciales
Year of Publication2022
Journal TitleCOVID-19 and Cities
COVID-19, Cities, Resilience, Long-term implications, Innovation
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many of the structural weaknesses of the contemporary world and accentuated already existing risks. Images of paralyzed cities, empty squares, closed schools and universities, canceled religious services, stationary public transport, closed airports, and suspended non-essential economic activities displayed the vulnerability of societies. History shows that cities can innovate and change profoundly in response to disasters or after suffering an intense crisis such as a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened a new debate about some of the most challenging issues of city planning and management. The concept of resilience is helpful to address the topics of how cities face disasters and how they adapt or evolve into systems that are more resistant. In this book, we rely on an evolutionary concept of resilience that goes beyond the understanding of resilience as a capacity of a system to bounce back to its initial state after an external shock. When understood as a capacity for evolving, resilience can be an important input for achieving more sustainable cities, as it can contribute to the transformation of urban systems for more equitable, inclusive, and just societies. This book aims to share experiences of how cities are facing and responding to the pandemic crisis; in what possible directions cities could evolve as a consequence of this traumatic experience; what strategies are implemented by which agents, individuals, and groups; what institutional and structural ruptures and developments can be observed; and what kind of practices seem successful or promising, and relate those lessons to inputs for facing uncertainties in future sustainable urban development.
Corresponding Author
Johannes Rehner