Just over half of the global population resides in urban areas today, and that figure is projected to rise to two-thirds by 2050. Urban life is a fact of life for a growing share of the world.
As the third decade of the 21st century unfolded, urban life came to a screeching halt as Covid-19 leapt from animals to humans.
Its combination of contagiousness and lethality unleashed an ongoing pandemic that has informed a continued rethinking of how we can improve urban life for the 21st century and beyond.
The pandemic has underlined just how connected our world has become, both in a physical and digital sense. It has forced us to consider our interdependence and fragility when making decisions that affect all levels of urban life, from individual households to entire metropolitan areas.
Before it, many urbanites took for granted how urban life is dependent on fragile large-scale systems prone to sudden disruption from unforeseeable and uncertain events like pandemics. Nobody should be taking the fragility of urban life for granted anymore.