First International blended conference, on Pandemics and Urban Form - Pandemics and the changing built environment: Learning from history, planning our future
2020 was an extraordinary year for all countries in the world. The pandemic has spread and has not ended yet, confirming that the world is dramatically changing. The scholars in the field of the built environment are increasingly discussing the relationship between survival and urban form, two concepts once closely linked. Besides this, the pandemic has brought us other questions: how can people get along with nature, how should we regulate social behaviours, and should we use science and technologies to improve the built environment? We have experienced unprecedented changes in our social behaviours since the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes, permanent or temporary, have made our cities different from the cities we lived in one year ago. This new society includes a completely different retail pattern, a reduced use of public transportation, an increased and multipurpose use of residential spaces, the exploitation of online activities, a reduced use of public spaces such as offices, stadiums, museums, theatres, schools and universities, but also streets, parks and squares. Some scholars have recently been discussing such transformations, noticing that most of them were already ongoing but received an acceleration since the pandemic, while others consider them to be completely new. We believe that in the long or medium term the new social pattern will be followed by substantial changes in the built environment, and that we should understand these changes to plan and design for the future, to mitigate the diffusion of new airborne diseases and to meet new social demands. This conference will have three tracks: it will use history as a mirror to analyse the present condition and to re-examine urban form, it will provide a meeting point for researchers and ideas on urban environment and health and consider new design and planning solutions. The international conference on Pandemics and the changing built environment will take place in a blended form in April 2022. We intend it as the first of a yearly series of meetings for scholars interested in pandemics and the transformations of urban form. We welcome proposals for papers and posters related to the conference topics. Abstracts of papers will be double peer reviewed by an international scientific committee before acceptance. We encourage scholars, planners, architects and city managers to propose abstracts.