Are You More Likely to Catch COVID-19 Living in a Dense City?
It depends on what you mean by ‘dense’
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left many people questioning the relationship between urban density and healthy cities. After all, physical distancing has been the most common measure to contain the spread of the virus. But this doesn’t mean higher-density cities are necessarily more vulnerable and lower-density cities more resilient to the pandemic.
Some say high density is a key factor. Others argue it is unrelated. Evidence invoked on both sides has often been anecdotal. Advocates of lower densities choose cities such as New York or Madrid as examples of the perils of high density, while advocates of higher densities point to Hong Kong or Seoul.
Much of the time such debates are blind to the differences between various kinds of urban densities. Too little attention is paid to what urban density actually means. Density in cities takes on a broad range of meanings, such as density of buildings, residents or jobs.
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