New UN-Habitat Report calls for post COVID-19 cities to lead the way to a fairer, greener and healthier future for all
Nairobi, 30 March 2021 - UN-Habitat’s new report - Cities and Pandemics: Towards a more just, green and healthy future – demonstrates how cities can reduce the impact of future pandemics and become more equitable, healthy and environmentally friendly.
Urban areas have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis, with 95 per cent of all cases recorded in cities in the first months. Urban areas were faced with a rapidly changing public health crisis, along with challenges in safe public transport, increased water and sanitation needs, use of public spaces and the economic consequences of lockdowns.
Despite these pressures, many local governments and community leaders responded quickly and effectively to prevent the spread of the pandemic and mitigate its effects, taking the first steps towards an accelerate recovery.
Based on the documentation of more than 1,700 cities and well-founded policy analysis, the UN-Habitat Report provides both empirical evidence on the state of cities and recommendations for actions for a sustainable recovery
Urban leaders and planners must rethink how people move through and in cities, using lessons from COVID-19, according to the UN-Habitat Report. Patterns of inequality, characterized by the lack of access to basic services, poverty and overcrowded living conditions, have been key destabilizing factors in increasing the scale and impact of COVID-19.
The UN-Habitat Report’s recommendations include an increased focus at the local level on planning neighborhoods and communities that are multi-functional and inclusive. The Report explores how well planned cities combining residential and commercial with public spaces along with affordable housing can improve public health, the local economy and the environment.