Live Course: The Pandemic + Policy: Urbanism in the time of COVID-19

Date: October 22, 12:00pm EDT

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This session provides urban policy insights that underscore the ways in which the pandemic is affecting our most vulnerable populations, both globally and at home.


The global pandemic has disrupted our lives like nothing else we’ve experienced. Every single indoor space we occupied regularly before COVID -- our homes, offices, schools, restaurants, stores, etc – has taken on new meaning or functions. The public realm, and in particular open space, has become even more essential to maintaining physical and mental health. Built Around Health is the third AIA RUDC One-day Symposium on the Future of Urban Design Education and Practice. This session will discuss how the current health crisis is impacting traditional notions of urbanism, and what challenges and opportunities the design profession has to address the pandemic. The first session brings together four national practitioners in architecture and urban design to advance novel implementation strategies at the scales of the building, block and city. The second session highlights perspectives from leading academics about how our interactions with the world shape health, well-being and behaviors. The third session provides urban policy insights that underscore the ways in which the pandemic is affecting our most vulnerable populations, both globally and at home. 

Cities and contagion are intimately intertwined. The impact of COVID-19’s in developing countries is critically amplified for the urban poor where limited organizational capacity, strained financial resources and inadequate infrastructure combine to place the most vulnerable populations directly on the front line of transmission. Explore the innovative solutions for how cities evaluate and address the costs and benefits of density in a post-COVID-19 world.

Hosted by Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC)

Learning objectives

  • Understand the relationship between urban density and the service economy in hotspots of virus transmission and contagion.   
  • Identify the vulnerabilities of slums and informal settlements where a lack of public space and high transportation densities collide to negatively impact underserved populations that have limited access to adequate health services.   
  • Demonstrate the difference between recovery actions, emergency actions and community-led social service-targeted actions for the poor and vulnerable populations in developing countries.  
  •  Learn about government-led actions that can operate under the new normal of the pandemic based on evidence-based, recovery planning. 
User rating:
Average: 3 (3 votes)
 $35  non-member
 $25  member
2.00 LUs
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Allison Arwady

    Dr. Allison Arwady

    MD, MPH

    Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)

    Dr. Allison Arwady, MD, MPH, is the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH...
  • Cierra Higgins

    Cierra Higgins


    Health Fellow and Designer I

    Cierra is a native of Kansas City, MO, and recently graduated from Washington University in St....
  • Sameh Wahba

    Sameh Wahba

    Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice

    Sameh Wahba, an Egyptian national, is the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk...
  • Jess Zimbabwe


    Director of Urban Development, National League of Cities (NLC)

    Executive Director, Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership

    Jess Zimbabwe serves as Director of Urban Development at the National League of Cities (NLC) and...

Course details

Duration: 2:00