Our buildings and cities were not designed to handle a pandemic. But countries around the world are coming up with design ideas, some high-tech and some more basic, to reduce the infection risks.
As our cities get hotter, rebuilding whole suburbs better suited to the heat is not an option. Instead, we can draw from the best examples of how to adapt neighbourhoods and behaviours.
A study of preschoolers' understanding of their urban environments suggests their voices should be heard more in city planning.
Valuing children's views could lead to better urban space for everyone.
Proposals to improve the capital's urban design and density must also take account of the city's unique streetscapes.
Lowering urban density to protect against the coronavirus would be a misguided response. Density is not a key driver of infection, and keeps people active and healthy.
The Mary Cairncross Rainforest Discovery Centre respects and incorporates the local landscape.
Guymer Bailey/Scott Burrows/Norman Richards building design + interiors
The council, developers, architects and the local community got together to set the principles of what they consider good design in this fast-growing region.
The Gender Equality Act in Victoria creates an obligation to understand how gender affects needs and experiences, and to design, assess and manage public spaces so women feel safe in those places.
Harvest Kitchen restaurant, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, making use of New York City’s new policy of opening streets to walking, biking and dining.
Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
First trains, then cars and, now, COVID-19 have all spurred New York to reimagine how its scarce space should be used – and what residents need to survive.
A friendly wave from a neighbour is one of life's incidental but invaluable interactions. Porches, balconies, front yards and footpaths have proven their importance as cogs of neighbourhood life.
Times Square, New York.
The internal density and layout of buildings are key factors in COVID-19 transmission risk. This is not an argument against high-density cities, some of which have successfully contained the virus.
Instead of isolating and excluding older Australians, communities that are designed to embrace the growing numbers of Australians over 65 will have all kinds of benefits for Australia.
Public spaces must now meet our need to be ‘together but apart’.
When urban spaces work well they are highly social spaces. How do we safely manage them and people's fears about mingling when ‘being together but apart’ is the norm?
Temporary use of land and buildings plays a role in the aftermath of crisis.
Urban safety is as much about inclusion and belonging as it is about better lighting and CCTV.
The COVID-19 outbreak began in a market at the edge of Wuhan, China.
The current outbreak of COVID-19 underscores the need to study urban growth to understand the spread and control of future epidemics.
'Smart cities', featuring networks of automatic lights, video cameras and environmental sensors, have been hailed as an enhancement to urban life. But they are also tools of surveillance and control.
Access to natural, green space makes a huge difference to the lives of children living in high-rise apartments.
Nearly half of apartment residents are now families with children whose quality of life suffers if their neighbourhoods don't provide the spaces and activities they need to thrive.
Access to the shoreline is great, but what about places not on the coast?
Béju (Happy City, Street Plan, University of Virginia)
Research into public health benefits of integrating nature into cities has focused on green spaces. New studies suggest water features are just as useful and can piggyback on other infrastructure goals.
Dalian is an emerging city and tourist destination in China, but its urban spaces could be improved in many ways.
Paul J Martin/Shutterstock
Australia has well established urban design guidelines, whereas many Chinese cities don't have any – and it shows. But Australia can also learn from China.