Author | Eduardo BravoThe coronavirus crisis has changed day-to-day life in practically every city in the world. Changes which, far from being exceptional, may transform the way we think, design and live in cities in the not-so-distant future.At the current stage of the pandemic, the greatest change that authorities and citizens have had to face is social distancing. Only with prophylactic and isolation measures will the contagion be able to be controlled. However, the lack of certainty surrounding the virus and its possible evolution have affected the mood and behavior of people.As explained by professor Patrick Condon, the James Taylor chair at the University of British Columbia's School of Architecture and Landscape, people have begun to develop apprehension and fear of their fellow men, a reaction that is expressed in the way these people engage with one another and with their environment. “Social distancing is kicking in. You can see it in the fear in the eyes of those walking around our city streets. Suddenly narrow sidewalks are uncomfortable and people are crossing streets to avoid confrontations on sidewalks”, Condon explains.In addition to this feeling of extreme caution, according to the Canadian professor, is the ignorance of some citizens who are not aware of the scale of the problem and are still not respecting distances, taking part in all types of social events. Despite these abnormal situations, when the mobility restrictions are lifted, which will probably be a gradual process, most of the population will probably have developed a certain phobia to social relationships.If this is the case, this attitude will lead citizens to be more reluctant to frequent places in which large groups of people gather. For example, concert halls, sports stadiums, bars, movie theaters, theaters, restaurants, museums or libraries. A fear that will have an economic impact, modifying the existing corporate sector and even transforming cities. On the one hand, urban centers, normally dedicated to the services sector, will see a drop in the number of visitors, both local and those from abroad, and the same thing will happen with shopping malls and leisure centers built on the outskirts in recent years.In this regard, as specific sectors will be weakened, others, such as the health sector and all that it involves, will be strengthened. Apart from building new facilities, renovating existing ones and increasing resources in health centers, the coordination between different health administrations will need to improve at a local, regional and international level.The coronavirus crisis has shown that action protocols need to be established that define, for example, how airlines in different countries and their immigration services should operate when it comes to allowing people to enter from places in which an epidemic has been declared. Protocols that will need to be designed in collaboration with international agencies such as the World Health Organization or the European Union, with the aim of reconciling the public health requirements and fundamental rights such as freedom of movement. So much so, that philosophers such as Jürgen Habermas or Luigi Ferrajoli are calling for the drafting of a Global Constitution.
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