Session #6

Cities facing COVID-19: Opportunities and Challenges for a More Sustainable Future

Across the world, cities are on the frontline of the unfolding COVID-19 health crisis and are facing unprecedented disruptions across social, health care, economic and environmental systems. Public transit systems are struggling with financing as well as how to provide a much needed service while preserving public safety. Small and medium businesses that provide essential provisions, entertainment, and vibrance in urban neighborhoods are struggling to survive and many haven’t which is taking a toll on residents and city budgets. Even before the current pandemic hit, big changes were needed for cities to meet the global goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, and EU Urban Agenda. To reach these goals, transformational changes are required for how we plan, build, manage, and live in cities. Such changes may have seemed beyond reach but now priorities are shifting at an unprecedented pace from housing to mobility to sustainable economic growth. A bold vision and rapid action is needed to change people’s understanding of what’s possible in cities and the courage to make it happen at scale. Our panelists from Fort Collins, Guadalajara, Lyon, and the European Commission will share some of the specific bold actions being taken in their cities and in EU policy to create a more sustainable urban future.



Session #5

Cities facing COVID-19: Redefining Public Space

The imposition of social distancing dictated by the COVID-19 health emergency has had an unprecedented effect on access to public space. Over the last three months, most of the world has been asked or mandated to stay home and to reorganize daily routines and work activities in indoor domestic space while looking at the world from behind a window. Meanwhile, the public realm has shifted dramatically in many cities as roads have been closed, and sidewalks expanded to make space for pedestrians and cyclists. In many places, city parks, nature trails, and beaches remain closed. These changes have had a profound effect on planning public spaces while ensuring social cohesion and promoting economic recovery. Our panelists from Austin, Merida, San Diego, and Strasbourg will explore what this shift in public space means for the future of living in cities.



Session #4

Cities facing COVID-19: The Road to Economic Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented systemic shock on the global economy with financial losses felt at every level. The longer-term impacts are still unfolding and their severity will depend on the ability of government, the business sector and civil society to respond effectively. Small business and communities especially vulnerable to shocks and stresses have been hit hard by the pandemic. The livability and character of our local neighbourhoods and the vibrancy of our cities is also at risk without bold action. While immediate responses are required to address acute financial strain, a longer-term vision is needed for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery. Our panelists will discuss specific measures their cities are taking to address both the immediate needs for economic recovery and also how they are working towards a more sustainable future for their communities.



Session #3

Mobility and COVID19: Reframing Priorities

Cities are facing increasing challenges in response to the COVID19 pandemic. This includes providing reliable public transportation for essential workers while promoting public safety; ensuring adequate social distancing space for cyclists and pedestrians and keeping transit workers safe. Senior transport & mobility policy makers and practitioners from the European Commission, Bogotá, Colombia, Boston, USA, and Lyon, France, will explain the measures implemented in their cities and the implications for long-term sustainable urban mobility.


Session #2

Cities facing COVID19: What's worked, what hasn't and what is next?

Senior policy makers and civic leaders from Hamburg, Germany, Barcelona, Spain, and Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, will share their experiences and offer recommendations on strategies for responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also have time for discussion and questions with webinar participants.


Session #1

¿Qué habríamos hecho diferente frente al COVID19? Recomendaciones de España para Latinoamérica

El COVID19 ha provocado una crisis mundial que ha ido afectando a diferentes regiones del mundo en diferentes etapas. Este crecimiento paulatino nos permite que las ciudades que llevan algunas semanas de ventaja puedan ofrecer recomendaciones a aquéllas que apenas comienzan. El Programa de Cooperación Urbana Internacional busca, ahora más que nunca, fortalecer la cooperación entre Europa y Latinoamérica. El objetivo es que juntos podamos mejorar la respuesta a la pandemia y sus consecuencias en materia de salud, inclusión económica, vivienda, movilidad y otros aspectos de sostenibilidad urbanas.