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

Date: October 20, 12:00pm EDT

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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 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. 

Urban design thinking requires the capacity to transcend real or implied boundaries and question issues of scale. Never before have the boundaries between us and the space we occupy been so contentious and delineated. How can urbanized areas reopen swiftly, safely and equitably through solutions that are spatially and socially-minded?  

Hosted by Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC)

Learning objectives

  • Identify strategies for ways in which architects and urban designers play a leadership role in advocating for and guiding public policy for socially-minded design.
  • Learn about the perceived and real boundaries between people and spaces, and related design strategies as it relates to public space and physical interaction.
  • Understand methodologies for identifying risks of transmission in the pandemic and planning for healthy, resilient communities.
  • Understand methods to integrate equitable responses and wellness approaches into three different scales; the building, block, and city.
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 $35  non-member
 $25  member
2.00 LUs
  • HSW


  • Basak Alkan

    Basak Alkan

    Senior Urban Designer and Senior Associate

    Basak is an urban designer with Perkins and Will, who strives to improve the health of individuals...
  • Ghigo DiTommaso

    Ghigo DiTommaso


    Italian architect and urban designer, Ghigo DiTommaso, a Director at Gehl, has focused his research...
  • Scot Latimer

    Scot Latimer


    Principal and Director of Strategy, Academic and Child Health and Wellness

    Scot Latimer, of Gensler, is among the North America’s best-known and most soughtafter healthcare...
  • Katie Swenson

    Katie Swenson


    Vice President of Design, Enterprise Community Partners

    Katherine W. Swenson is a nationally recognized design leader, researcher, writer and educator....