Until recently the design of cities and their public spaces has, more often than not, been shaped to accommodate cars. The COVID-19 crisis has unveiled, like never before, how precious public space is and how unfairly it is allocated in far too many cases. As lockdown started to phase out, many cities acted promptly to reallocate space and prioritise pedestrians and cyclists. Streets have been taken over by people, often by children; many roads, terraces and squares are being used to socialise and to offer essential space to local businesses, giving public space a revitalised social function.
Cities work towards making transport and spatial planning choices that are informed by people needs and that also serve public policy goals. Much work is still needed to ensure that the streets in our cities become truly liveable and healthy ecosystems, places where all aspects of social life can be enjoyed and not just corridors to move from point A to point B.