Will COVID-19 be the magic bullet for the world to start taking climate change seriously?

This is how the air quality case study speaks for itself.

The similarities between response to COVID-19 and climate change are uncanny.

1. COVID-19 is already changing our world.

Will the world leaders, governments, large organisations and cities recognise some of these new patterns, and incorporate them into business as usual? — I certainly hope so.

Mountain goats roam the streets of Llandudno, Wales, on 31 March. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/apr/22/animals-roaming-streets-coronavirus-lockdown-photos

2. Carless cities: pollution-less cities.

What are the health risks of air pollution?

Particulate matter (PM)

Nitrogen oxide (NO2)

At the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the world has gained at least one positive side effect: a live case study for healthier cities without pollution.

3. The ‘Clean Cities’ Case Studies

#1 Auckland, New Zealand

#2 Delhi, India

#3 Many other megacities

#4 Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou

Reducing NO2 levels over Chinese megacities, between January to February 2020. Source: NASA

What is stopping us from working towards better public health, cleaner air, and healthier cities as we come out of the lockdown, and the pandemic as a whole?

4. Potential of planning policy — post-pandemic.

5. Post-pandemic: the fear of not adapting.

We can’t go back to normal!

What alternatives do we have?

…Please, we can’t go back to normal.

The sceptics’ response.

6. Other ways of living.

Somewhere in the world, things are already happening.

Picture from this The Guardian article. Photograph: Stefano De Grandis/REX/Shutterstock

Wellington-based urbanist. Life-long yogi. Feminist. Holistic wellbeing & healthy cities advocate. A person on a bike. Policy writer by day.

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