Smart city planning can help build cities that are more ready to deal with future pandemics. The Novel Coronavirus outbreak has underlined the need for smart city planning and how these cities can be designed to stop the spread of disease.
The Global City Response to the Pandemic at Present
Most metropolitan cities have found themselves severely hit by the pandemic, with not enough opportunity to socially distance effectively. If anything, the pandemic has forced city planners to sit up and take notice of all the ways cities could have been built differently to contain the spread of disease. While many city authorities have been devising stop-gap solutions to effectively steam the contagion by sealing off roads for cars and creating socially distanced lanes for pedestrians, these measures are not adequate to prevent future pandemic outbreaks. The need of the hour is proactive and long-term smart city planning, which helps create a more pandemic-ready world.
How Smart Cities Would React Differently
Global cities around the world have been struggling with the ongoing health crisis and dealing with it the best way they can. However, if a smart city approach were to be adopted, the pandemic’s response would be more effective. How would this pandemic response be different? Let’s discuss –
- The Smart City approach would leverage real-time updates and insights to plan for procedural improvements and enable convenient logistics to streamline their crisis response. Improved disease detection and reporting would help these cities take fast and decisive action to mitigate the outbreak of disease.
- Smart city planning would take a more collaborative approach to dealing with a crisis of this sort. Better connectivity and collaboration between different cities, states and nations would help cities and the companies in these cities recover faster from the ravages of a sudden pandemic.
- Identifying stakeholders would be prioritized. The recent pandemic has highlighted how frontline warriors such as doctors, nurses and other health workers need more attention and provisions enabling their work during these times. At the same time, the homeless and migrant laborer sector is the most negatively impacted in lockdown situations, as was called upon by city administrations to stop the pandemic spread. Smart cities would take the special needs and concerns of these population groups and provide them with sufficient protective gear and supplies to keep them safe.
If we are to become future-ready for possible pandemics that might crop up on the horizon, we need to engage in smart city planning as soon as possible. Our traditional cities are not equipped to tower over pandemics with their existing infrastructure