Covid-19 and role of Planners


Staff member
As you are well aware, the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) around the world is impacting lives in ways most of us have never seen before. This thread is aimed to provide a space to contribute viewpoints/ideas/opinions of planners and have a healthy discussion about the role planners can play in current scenario.

Even the best and most prepared countries are having a very hard time to control this unprecedented situation. As in most of the cases, cities remain in the limelight (rural areas are equally vulnerable too) since they are densely packed. We would like to know your thoughts on the following aspects:

  1. Immediate help & role of planners in such situations?
  2. How to leverage the insight of spatial data/ mapping to help the world get a better understanding of situation?
  3. How this will affect policy making in long & short term?
  4. What steps can be taken to avoid/ improve or deal with such situations in a better manner?

You may cover any additional aspect which you consider will be useful for the community. This information is provided to help start a meaningful discussion and resource base to conduct planning discourse.

Team Planning Tank


New member
Epidemical paralysis like the ongoing COVID- 19 has put me in a serious dilemma. Are we ethically tuned on our TOD policies and will this unprecedented situation lead to subtle changes in our norms related to community services like Hospitals, Community Centre's, Clubs, etc....

Rishab Gaba

New member
Planners can play an important role in present as well as future scenarios. It's not feasible to put the entire country in lockdown or curfew after a certain point. Here GIS mapping can play a vital role where we can map the active cases and through network analysis we can find out the risk zones. In the remaining areas, relaxations can be provided.

We can take an important lesson from this situation is that we need to reduce the number of trips. Importance of Institutional and industrial housing can be well understood in today's scenario. Concepts like Sustainable neighborhoods and work area living area relationships can help to divide the city into small pockets which can be easily isolated or merged into the city's fabric.


New member
Yes, I agree with the above comments. This time is very important for planners to think about how their cities will influence the local communities and what can be done for the prevention of COVID-19 spread. Some communities are using hand sanitizes and wash basins in their public spaces which gives a new meaning for public spaces in the time of the pandemic. Social distancing is also encouraged and some roads in New York City are being opened for pedestrians since there is less traffic. This suggests that cities are being used differently and our city spaces are being adaptable to the scenario. This implies that cities are drastically impacted by their present situations. The legal and governance framework should also be taken into account with how our cities are impacted by what the government wants us to do, maybe for the best, but this also vastly depends on the perception of local citizens.

Planners should understand the present condition of cities and adapt accordingly. Although this seems like a temporary solution, till vaccines are created and distributed, it opens our eyes to the adaptable nature of human beings and how cities impact these changes on a regular basis.


New member
In addition to the above comments, it is important to mobilise the events after the lockdown is over. China is a leading example of getting back to normalcy. A methodical and sequential mode of events is necessary for the effective opening of institutions and the national economy which is under saviour pressure.