Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

COVID-19 has given us a new appreciation for what we took for granted. Chief among them is the central role that restaurants, cafes, and bars play in our lives: places to eat and drink, but also places to congregate and socialize.

The picture is bleak. Food service and brick-and-mortar retail have been hit hard; many are facing the possibility of closing permanently. And as these businesses remain closed, we’re rethinking how we use space in our cities—opening streets to bikes and people, for instance, to create more social space.

But few businesses are as important in shaping how we experience…

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

A lot has been written on whether density makes cities safer or unsafer during pandemics. Michael Hendrix, writing in City Journal, summarizes what we know:

It turns out that population density isn’t the key determinant of a city’s susceptibility to Covid-19. Outbreaks correlate instead with preexisting health problems, social norms, and the quality of governance. Disease prevalence also tracks with rates of tourism and recreational amenities. […] Covid-19 sheds light not on the problems of density but on the deficiencies of our urban political leadership. Density is deadlier in the U.S. …

Varun Bansal

I like cities, sustainability, tech, and—ironically—printing things out. Currently doing product @Pinterest.

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