UTTRI associated faculty Professor Richard Florida was interviewed in “Coronavirus will change cities but offers chance to fix chronic inequities: expert,” Global News, July 26, 2020.
The discussion of changes and opportunities in Canada due to COVID-19 touches on work, transportation, social justice, arts and culture and the cooperation of different levels of government.
- About 40% of the Canadian workplace is working remotely today. About half of those will continue working remotely. This means fewer commuters and potentially reduced congestion and traffic-related emissions.
- The dramatic reduction in use of mass transit is a worldwide phenomenon because of fear of COVID-19 exposure.
- The cultural, artistic and creative economy has been severely affected by COVID-19. Florida recommends “setting up locally sourced platforms for local culture” to support local artists, performers, chefs. This would also be an opportunity to get away from mass produced culture.
- COVID-19 has raised awareness of inequality.
“I think it’s the most important moment of my life, for cities. The COVID crisis focused attention on the inequities, with regard to how much visible minorities were exposed to the virus in their communities. And now a wave of protests saying, we’re not going to stand for racial and social and economic injustice, police brutality. We want a better way of living.”
Florida concludes that we have an opportunity now to make our cities better, and that inclusiveness and resilience are “the way forward.”
“It is time for a really new deal for cities… provinces, cities and the federal government working together to build more inclusive cities and suburbs.”
Watch the video interview and read the full article “Coronavirus will change cities but offers chance to fix chronic inequities: expert,” Global News, July 26, 2020.