Although this blog is at a close, I want to briefly touch on the global pandemic that is currently unfolding, affecting Barcelona along with thousands of other cities, and the implications this may have for UPE thinking and city resilience.
The COVID-19 outbreak, and the speed at which it is spreading, demonstrates the threat that our current urban model of high-density, globally connected living poses to our collective global well-being and survival. The virus, and the social distancing measures required to try and slow its progress, also highlight inequalities and the health privilege that is awarded to those who can distance themselves from others, both within cities and globally. In terms of city resilience, which is often thought of predominantly in terms of ability to cope with climatic changes, the past few months have demonstrated the vital importance of building bio-resilience in our urban environments.
The spread of the virus has been strongly linked to how and where we live. Following the containment of the virus, it will be interesting to see its influence on urban ideas, and whether there will be a new urban model that allows for socially distanced living and flows of goods to move through cities with minimal human contact.
As this blog comes to an end, I would like to thank you for checking in (almost) every week and reflect a little on my experience writing it. Personally, writing this blog has driven me to think about cities in a new way, looking below the surface to explore the interactions that occur in cities among nature, humans, the built environment and everything in-between. I hope that from reading the blog each week you have gained a better understanding of the urban political ecology issues Barcelona is facing, and it has inspired you to think about similar issues in other cities around the world.