The COVID-19 pandemic has shined an intense spotlight on the design of our cities, and has subsequently emphasized areas in which design is lacking. When citizens are unable to congregate indoors or utilize public transportation, we begin to uncover pain points that were previously overlooked within our cities. Though the pandemic has been challenging, it does provide an opportunity. If ever there was a time to implement transformative, innovative concepts and plans to reshape our cities, it is now.

Aptly, many city leaders are doing exactly that. In Paris, city officials are removing large swaths of parking spaces to rapidly accommodate outdoor dining and expand bicycle infrastructure. The city of Oakland recently announced 74 miles of “slow streets,” open only to local traffic. Additionally, the city of Seattle has shut down 20 miles of streets to all traffic, and has converted several greenways into walking and biking paths.

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