Cities in Times of Pandemics

Posted on: 3rd June 2020

Managing the Coronavirus Crisis on urban level

You can find in Dossier CIDOB how cities deal with the challenges of the pandemic. Here you can find an overview of the reports.

1- Democracy, authoritarianism and values

2- An ideational challenge to the international order

3- Populisms and hyperleadership

4- Prospects for international cooperation

From crisis to crisis? Melbourne in the midst of COVID-19

by Michele Acuto, Director, Connected Cities Lab, University of Melbourne 

“The bushfire, climate and health crises all bring to the surface the deeper underlying crisis of inequality across the greater metropolitan area.”

Hong Kong’s Head Start in Tackling the New Coronavirus

by Mee Kam Ng, Director of the Urban Studies Programme and Vice-chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

“SARS left a lasting imprint on the city’s civil society: people know from experience that they have to practise self-help and support the poor and marginalised.”

First in the Western world: Milan goes from boom-town to emergency hot-spot

by Andrea Tobia Zevi, Associate Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies)

“An environmental sustainability strategy for Milan is not only crucial in order to mitigate climate change but also to prevent future epidemics. “

Barcelona’s Coronavirus Makers: Co-producing local solutions to a global pandemic


by Hannah Abdullah, Research Fellow, CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs)

and Jordi Reynés Garcés, Director, Ateneus de Fabricació, Barcelona City Council

“The co-production of local solutions to today’s global challenges, such as the coronavirus and climate change, depend on both local collaboration and global connectivity. “

London and COVID-19: too complex for one government?

by Philipp Rode, Executive Director, LSE Cities and Associate Professorial Research Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science

“As London moves towards an uncertain future as part of a recovery and ultimately post-crisis phase, its multi-level governance system will have to respond flexibly to different scenarios.”

Zurich’s COVID-19 response: A national response orchestrated by a federal government


by Sabina Uffer, Project Leader, RZU – Planungsdachverband Region Zürich und Umgebung (Greater Zurich Planning Association)

“Civil society initiatives have been slow to emerge and have taken a secondary role in Zürich and Switzerland.”

Vienna’s human rights approach to the coronavirus crisis


by Shams Asadi, Human Rights Commissioner of the City of Vienna

  1. The right to information

  2. Children’s right to education

  3. The right to housing

  4. The right to work

  5. The right to bodily integrity


Future challenges

“The City of Vienna has proven flexible and inclusive in its response to the health, social and economic challenges posed by the coronavirus.”

“Given record unemployment and an impending social crisis, like any other city, Vienna will have to allocate more resources to combating the economic and social consequences of COVID-19.”