It's been over 100 days since the first stay-at-home orders were issued in the U.S. and yet COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread throughout the country. There have been over 3 million recorded cases and daily case counts are hitting all-time highs in many places. Inequities in the numbers of cases and deaths due to racism, and the cascading impacts of the pandemic continue to illustrate the dire need to dismantle systemic racism and injustices. There have been six weeks of protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement since the murder of George Floyd, and this too is changing the shape of our cities through the removal of confederate monuments, street murals proclaiming Black Lives Matter, and broader conversations about policing and the use of public space.
These factors are contributing to ongoing uncertainty about what the next few months (or years) will bring and are setting the stage for the potential of major changes in cities. Many factors remain unknown, including whether folks who have been mostly staying home will return to offices, schools, and restaurants throughoutthe summer and fall. It is against this backdrop of uncertainty that we have compiled information about the impacts of COVID-19 on real estate and land use.
We will be taking a step back from our COVID-19 newsletter over the next few weeks to focus on our broader research agenda, but we hope you'll join for us our webinar series launching next week!
All the best,
The Urbanism Next Team
COVID-19 has disrupted daily life and impacted all types of real estate from housing and office spaces to retail and warehouses. Many residential and commercial tenants have been unable to pay their rents and mortgages throughout the pandemic and with eviction moratoriums and financial assistance set to expire throughout the summer, major changes could be underway. Real estate impacts have been highly varied across the country and there will continue to be delayed responses as our behaviors and businesses adjust. If many office workers continue to work from home in the long-term, will residential preferences change? Will central business districts dissolve into neighborhood commercial hubs and mixed-use development? With alarmingly high estimates for business closures on the horizon, how can the buildings and land they once occupied be repurposed to create more resilient, livable cities?
- Black and immigrant neighborhoods are facing the most eviction filings even as they are currently protected by eviction moratoriums. Bloomberg CityLab: The Coming Wave of Coronavirus Evictions Will Wipe Out Black Renters (7.1.20)
- To address racial and gender inequities, a coalition of mayors are advocating for more than a one-time stimulus. Vice News: These 11 Mayors Are Really Trying to Get Their Cities' Residents a Guaranteed Income (6.29.20)
- Discount stores have proliferated even as other brick-and-mortar have closed in recent years, often filling a void but not without serious consequences.ProPublica: How Dollar Stores Became Magnets for Crime and Killing (06.29.20)
- Public drinking laws have been used a pretext for harassing communities of color. The laws need to change. StreetsBlog NYC: Op-Ed: It's Time to Legalize Public Drinking for All New Yorkers (6.28.20)
- "Everything you ever wanted to know about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, from a Black perspective" The Root