Spatial Implications of COVID-19

Summer 2020 Independent Study | Professor: Nida Rehman

This project contributes to the Spaces of Containment and Care project by N. Rehman as a part of the Center for the Arts in Society (CAS) borderline initiative.

More than 5.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally, and more than 325,000 people have passed away due to this pandemic. Without a vaccine for COVID-19, space play a large role as spatial responses and epidemic countermeasures — enabling different formations of quarantine, social distancing, and isolation.

How do public health regulations and policies issued at various governmental scales translate into spatial implementations?

What are the cultural variations that arise?

To answer these questions, 3 cities were analyzed and compared to the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization. The 3 cities were New York City, Mumbai, and Hong Kong. More than 10 cities were considered, and the geographical, climatic, economic, political, and cultural contexts were all taken into consideration. Also due to potential language constraints, these 3 cities were chosen to be analyzed. Further analysis for other locations could be pursued at a later time. 

To better analyze the different parts of the research, each section is divided here for closer examination. Each city was analyzed and compared for the government’s spatial strategy and health advice.

Additionally the political and environmental factors that contributed to the impact of COVID-19 were also analyzed and presented on the timeline relative to when policy action was taken. All of which is juxtaposed onto the daily new case count (logarithmic scale) to better understand the speed of response, its effectiveness (or lack thereof), and the possible social or environmental contexts that played a role on local conditions (such as the Black Lives Matter Marches, the Hong Kong protests, or the cyclone near Mumbai).