Photo credits: Fundación Placemaking México
STREET EXPERIMENTS DURING COVID-19
Photo credits: Espacio Lúdico
THE NEED TO REDESIGN OUR CITIES
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on our lives, but it also changed our cities. Over the last year, our cities’ streets have seen many eye-catching transformations. During the first months of the pandemic we have seen deserted streets. But when lockdowns were gradually lifted and more people started to go out on the street, cities began to reshape their streets in order to control virus spread.
~ Comuno di Milano
“We missed exercise. The weather is perfect. The air is cleaner. With fewer cars on the road, walking and cycling is safer. If not now, when?”
THE ROLE OF CITY STREET EXPERIMENTS
The COVID-19 pandemic urged cities to quickly find and implement solutions to meet short term needs. Tactical urban interventions or street experiments are characterised by their quick, cheap, and yet well thought out implementation. So street experiments could be a way of responding to the challenges that became more tactile during the pandemic. In this way they could help making cities more resilient in the future and to be able to better respond to possible future crises. But how does that precisely work?
Pop-up cycling lanes in Munich, Germany
Photo credits: Comuno di Milano
THE PANDEMIC AS STIMULATOR OF CHANGE IN THE LONG RUN
The strength of street experiments lies in their ability to quickly respond to short-term needs, but, and maybe even more importantly, they have an enormous potential of enabling systemic change in the long run.
"If change is worrisome, then it’s not that big a deal if we can come back to where we are today"
~ Helen Rowe
SET also aims at providing effective, correct and qualitative knowledge to anyone interested in street experiments. Our resource collection also includes a section specifically designated to COVID-19 related street experiments. It includes different types of useful resources such as toolboxes, design kits, academic papers and interesting website. Go check it out here!