How Will COVID-19 Affect Public Spaces?

Lessons from a Pandemic: Cities adapted in the past to pandemics, and one place to start is in parks, says a Tufts urban planning professor
In the video above, urban and environmental policy and planning professor Justin Hollander talks about the ways that thinking about public spaces will change with the pandemic. Video: Jandro Cisneros
May 14, 2020


“Lessons from a Pandemic” is an occasional video series featuring Tufts faculty offering perspectives on COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic will certainly have a big impact on public space in cities,” says Justin Hollander, A96, a professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

He has worked in land use and environmental planning at the local, regional, and federal levels. His research examines how cities and regions manage physical change during periods of growth and decline and the cognitive, health, and social dimensions of community well-being.

He is the author or co-author of seven books, most recently An Ordinary City: Planning for Growth & Decline in New Bedford, Massachusetts (Palgrave). He is regularly called upon as an expert for a variety of media sources on urban issues, including the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, NPR, and C-SPAN. He is also host of the podcast Cognitive Urbanism.