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RTPI blog round-up: Planning in Italy and the spread of Covid-19

Words: RTPI

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 2 May-29 May, 2020

Planning in Italy and the spread of Covid-19

Italy seems to be disproportionately affected by the spreading of COVID-19, having paid so far one of the highest tolls globally in terms of human lives and bracing for a potential long-term economic downturn.

Urgent questions of why the epidemic has affected the country so dramatically are being raised – namely with the inadequacy of the response in Lombardy put under scrutiny. Interestingly, part of the answers are been sought in the spatial and environmental factors influencing the contagion rates. Understanding these might help to slow down potential future waves of the pandemic and help Italian communities to become more resilient in the future – with lessons for communities elsewhere...

By Michele Vianello, international policy and research officer at the RTPI.

Planning and pandemics

As I write from my office, which is my shed in the garden to make the most of the lovely spring weather, the government’s and the public’s attention is rightly focused on reducing the infection and death rate from the virus. However, in the same way that Abercrombie and others sought to plan post-war Britain in the midst of WWII, it is important to consider how both planning policy and the profession could change post-coronavirus. This blog offers some potential insights which perhaps raise more questions than answers but these are still pressing and poignant issues to consider. One thing is clear, planners and the planning profession (should) remain vital in a post-coronavirus world...

By Charles Goode, doctoral researcher in urban and regional planning at the University of Birmingham.

Covid-19 and planning for climate change

Planning and public health have been inextricably linked since the first Town Planning legislation in 1909,  born out of concerns for overcrowded slum housing and the impact on public health. As with previous pandemics, the world will not be the same after Covid-19 and it will have wide reaching, social, political and economic consequences. Since lockdown, new systems and ways of living have been adopted and created in response to the crisis as people practice social-distancing and retail and leisure services have closed up shop and moved online. This will have an impact on how we plan cities in the future, with the need for a renewed focus on economic recovery and planning for public health... 

By Isabella Krabbe, research officer for climate change, RTPI.

Bringing communities together during a time of crisis

The current COVID19 crisis has provided us all with an opportunity to reflect upon what is important to us personally, to the communities of which we are part and on the way that we use the places and spaces that make up our local areas.

The crisis has brought communities together and changed our understanding of what is important in our lives. These communities are not only ‘local’ but also extend to the ‘communities of interest’ of which we are part. The RTPI is one such community of interest... 

By Sue Manns, president of the RTPI.