The social distancing or rather a spatial distancing has won the Most Valuable Phrase (MVP) of 2020. Even now when countries around the world are easing out lockdowns or shelter in place regulations, WHO guidelines to maintain a minimum of 1-metre physical distance prevails. But the fact is that the physical distancing is an unimaginable luxury only a few can afford, says Mahak Agrawal, urban planner and founder at The Spatial Perspectives.
“With the Covid-19, we have once again brought the notion of density to trial. In these Corona-density debates, informal habitations or slums continue to be the most cited example. But slums are not the only case. Taking the case of India, several cities and public spaces are compact — but are not always high-density developments. Yet, imagining a 1.5m urban future is unimaginable. This is true for not just India but several parts of the world- the difference is who is getting affected,” Agrawal adds.
Mahak Agrawal will be speaking on space design at Indian Kitchen Congress ‘Virtual’ on June 20 at 3:PM. Register here: https://bit.ly/2UOx0hW
She observes that it is interesting to note that the pandemic has also sparked frugal innovations in different parts of the world by administration and people. When it comes to keeping the 1.5m distance, several cities in India are painting circles or squares in public spaces. But these circles are not enough. As India entered its fourth phase of lockdown while easing out restrictions, people are returning to public spaces or trying to return home either by car or on foot. “At the end of the day, we have to accept that any and all discussions on 1.5m urbanism are not binary. And, in imagining a 1.5m city we have to work out for whom are we planning, when will we be able to turn this image into reality, and how? More importantly, will this 1.5m be enough?”
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