Shirley Blumberg writes about how the pandemic offers lessons architects and designers can use to create a better future in ARCHITECT magazine
September 27, 2021
In the September/October issue of ARCHITECT magazine, Shirley Blumberg writes about how the pandemic offers lessons architects and designers can use to create a better future.
Throughout history, disease has had a profound impact on urban life and design. What has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us about creating a better future?
Urban population density fuels the spread of illness, particularly in areas with poor living conditions. But monumental public health crises have also advanced the design of cities, indelibly defining them for the future. In the 19th century, London and Paris built robust and unprecedented sewer and sanitation systems to counter the threat of cholera. Additionally, Napoléon lll appointed Georges-Eugène “Baron” Haussmann to reimagine Paris with a vast public works program of generous avenues, parks, and squares that introduced light and air to the city center.
Before the mid-20th century breakthrough development of antibiotics, treatment for tuberculosis was largely environmental: fresh air, sunlight, rest, and nourishing food. In New York, when we believed the lack of fresh air caused malaria and cholera, Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park to be “the lungs of the city.”
Read the article Driven by Disease.