Cities for a resilient recovery: International lessons on recovery from COVID-19 / 9 July 2020
Produced by The University of Manchester, UK (Professor Duncan Shaw, Dr Jennifer Bealt, and Professor Ruth Boaden) in partnership with the Global Resilient Cities Network (Lina Liakou and Femke Gubbels)
What is the weekly briefing on Cities for a Resilient Recovery?
Each week the University of Manchester brings together relevant international practices and examples on recovery from COVID-19. The weekly briefing is curated by the Global Resilient Cities Network to bring key lessons and examples targeted for resilience officers, emergency planners and other city practitioners. The structure of the briefing follows the City Resilience Framework – specifically the four drivers that cities have been identified as mattering the most when a city faces chronic stresses or sudden shocks - Health and Wellbeing, Economy & Society; Infrastructure & Environment; and Leadership & Strategy.
Highlights of the week
In this week’s briefing we look at the different ways the COVID-19 crisis and the introduction of lockdown measures has impacted the urban economy, and specifically certain segments of the economy that were already strained or vulnerable prior to the pandemic.
Very early on into the public health emergency, it became apparent that an economic emergency was developing in parallel. Municipal finances took an immediate blow, and businesses saw their income drop while fixed costs continued. Furthermore, the pandemic not only exposed a lack of redundancy in global supply chains, it also increased workers’ vulnerability to modern-day slavery. Looking ahead to long-term recovery, cities and businesses will need to create more transparent supply chains and work collaboratively to reduce this stress.
This illustrates the point that those who were already at a disadvantage before COVID-19 are disproportionally affected by economic downturn. To address this, the City of El Paso is setting up targeted training programs to upskill the local workforce and reduce their reliance on volatile service work. The programs aim to support long-term economic development and create a more stable financial position for the community.
In this week’s briefing you will also find considerations around circular economy, the political economy of the food system, the role of clean energy in improving health outcomes during COVID-19, and why you should consider looking into a data impact assessment to create a safe working environment.
Lastly, we highlight a case study on localised ‘smart’ lockdowns. As we begin to see second wave outbreaks in some cities across the world including Beijing, Tel Aviv, Leicester, and Melbourne, some are experimenting decentralised approach to lockdowns to contain the spread and mitigate wider economic consequences. It is worth asking where specifically these second outbreaks tend to occur and if there are common trends, which could help identify them early on.