Cities In And After Corona

Cities should become even closer to their people during the crisis to support everyone through the hard times. The capabilities of the entire city community should be utilized to support each other through the crisis. Simultaneously, exactly now we have the window open to rethink the new ways of urban living, working and moving. Moreover, the important topics of this urban era, including fighting climate crisis as well as developing the people-first approach for smart cities, have not disappeared anywhere, actually exactly the opposite.

1. Lead the ecosystem. The role of cities in society is changing. Instead of only producing top-down certain services required by law, cities are increasingly seeing themselves as orchestrators of the capabilities of the entire city community – citizens, businesses, city organisation and activists.

2. Invest in regenerative cities. Next step from sustainable or carbon-neutral cities is becoming regenerative. This means that it’s time to enable social and ecological systems to maintain a healthy state and to evolve instead of only minimizing the harm done. This could mean eg. creating more green space and biodiversity than destroying it, or producing more energy than spending it – in each new and retrofitted urban development. Investing in regenerative cities is a long-sighted approach to post-crisis exit strategy and economic stimulus

3. Re-imagine the next era city. The city of tomorrow, will look, feel, sound and smell very different. New ways of living, working and moving arise at an accelerating pace in the current crisis. This opens up the window to radically re-imagine the city. Demos Helsinki is currently gathering a consortium of thought leader partners to join us in collectively reimagining the post-transformation city through an inclusive and joyful journey.