Designing for COVID-2x: Reflecting on Future-Proofing Human Habitation for the Inevitable Next Pandemic

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2022 has revealed the vulnerability of modern society to a highly contagious airborne virus. Many spaces in the urban and built environment designed during the late twentieth and early twenty-first century are ill-suited to maintain the level of social distancing required to reduce the probability of virus transmission. Enclosed spaces—in particular, communal circulation spaces such as corridors, elevators and lobbies—have proven loci of transmission, together with circulating reticulated air and lack of proper ventilation. While urban planning needs to incorporate the lessons learnt during COVID-19 in order to future-proof our communities through the provision of well-designed greenspaces, the main burden will fall on architects, who will play an instrumental role in designing buildings that are fit-for purpose. This conceptual paper reviews the status quo and discusses a number of strategies to future-proof human habitation for the inevitable next pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number976
JournalBuildings
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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