The COVID’19 pandemic has been now a continuous chain that is going on for more than five months infecting crores of people around the globe. People have gathered their interests and daily life chores around their house or space where they are spending their days of lockdown. Ongoing for several months now, the pandemic has taken up the title of ‘the new normal’ now, and steadily people are now coming out of their homes and moving around. At this point in time, the most important scenario which strikes is the efficient urban design of the area which would provide the users with freedom of movement and ease of their mental stress. Regardless of the changes being put into action immediately, there needs to be several notions regarding the urban design which needs to be put into action post-pandemic for further futuristic safety of the people.
The contingency of the pandemic being the most crucial point, social distancing of at least two meters amongst people has proven to be efficiently working, and hence, the density of people per hectare is the foremost thing which should be dealt with to get along with the pandemic. Four hundred to six hundred people per square hectare is the ideal proportion suggested which would help people live without fear and will have accessibility to all the resources.
Having said about accessibility to the resources, decentralization of local shops is another significant step which should be taken to prevent the gathering of the huge amount of crowd at one place rather than having shops at one’s locality which would in terms segregate the crowd into small chunks and reduce the risk of spreading of the virus. This step will also raise the economy of the people who will be running the shops and also the buyers can have regular access to their needs without any stress of storage.
A sudden pandemic and elongation of the period have led to affecting one’s mental health tremendously which can be healed if allowed to breath in open and not within the four walls of the house. Hence, the need for small green pockets at a certain proximity at a precinct level is necessary for the public to move out a little and breathe in nature’s surroundings. These smaller green pockets will also ensure segregation and social distancing with an opportunity to move out once in a while. For the existing parks and green zones, they can be planned properly further to make it a secure place for the public to visit and let go of that stress.
The occurrence of the pandemic has changed the habits of people which has been imbibed in them for years. One such habit is dining out on weekends or going out with friends to hangout and now it has been put to a halt. But with the widening of footpaths or utilizing unused spaces cafes and restaurants can extend their space and have designed seating accordingly. The eateries can cater to the function of pause points i.e., too many eateries should not be clustered at one station but divided into different stations on nearby points which will make space accessible and risk-free.
The spread of the virus has kept the public off the roads and in their homes which have led into a decrease of pollution and a cleaner environment around the world and now with people slowly getting out, one has been driving a car singly and usage of public transport has been nullified which would later increase a lot of traffic and reoccurring of the pollution, hence roads should be widened and bicycle roads and pedestrian pathways should be promoted and put into action which would help in maintaining the clean environment and decongestion of automobiles.
Apart from the very obvious scenarios which need to be dealt with, another serious note is to bridge the difference between the rich and poor through infrastructure. The economy of all the countries have been hit hard and the people who have been affected the most are the low income or poor people. Measures should be taken in terms of sanitation and housing for this section of people to have an entire virus-free society and not only the people who can afford it.
Furthermore, there can be grocery stores set up in a square grid maintaining distance at several points which would help people in fetching the resources they require on a regular fresh basis i.e., meat, eggs, bread, vegetables, and fruits. Companies that can have their work done from home itself should continue this till the pandemic ends to lessen the movement of people. Basic urban design elements like sign boards showing wearing masks and gloves, sanitizer and so on shall be placed on roads for maintaining the awareness and not be negligent about it. All the public places like bus stops, public toilets, etc., shall be sanitized regularly and have a certain limitation of accessing people upon it.
Inferring, implementation of such urban policies post-pandemic can provide the users with certainty and freeness of liveability and movement.