The Coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on cities and populations all over the world. Although the virus itself is only a tiny, invisible thing, it has set a challenge for humanity: public spaces in cities have become empty, airports are closed, prayers have been cancelled and people are told to stay home for the first time in our lifetime. As cities are not meant to only satisfy basic human needs but provide crucial physical and social environments for human interaction, the changes the virus has brought to urban spaces have left stark impressions on their inhabitants and vice versa. Our daily habits influence our lives, and the way we act and interact reforms our built environment.
Leaving the house to talk in private. How COVID19 restrictions affected how and where we find someone to talk to.Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland
Talja Blokland, Robert Vief and Daniela Krüger ask how the political measures to slow down the coronavirus, especially by not meeting other people, affected how people organised their support for challenges they faced. Drawing on representative survey results from four neighbourhoods in Berlin in both 2019 and 2020, they show that, before the lockdown, a majority of their respondents communicated face-to-face to confront their most pressing personal challenges and did so outside of their home. Under COVID19 restrictions, digital exchanges became more important – but curiously, they did not make us stay home.