New Perspectives regarding COVID-19’s Impact on Environmental Health and Urban Sustainability
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about disruptive changes in our society. The protective measures imposed by governments led to changes in our daily lives that affected individual behavior and all of society, businesses, and public agenda. There were significantly increased demands for ecosystem services, such as those provided by urban green areas. Some of these developments have already been studied—most importantly, environmental quality.
Many cities have implemented measures with direct or indirect consequences for environmental quality, and have defined roadmaps for the implementation of zero-emission strategies consistent with the goals of the European Green Deal. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed drawbacks and shortcomings of some of these policies, and has served to identify new requirements for sustainable urban development. Several collaborative platforms have been created to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and promote changes to help accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the 2020–2022 period, a large number of studies on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic restriction measures have been produced by scientists and by other stakeholders. This body of information provides valuable insights about the observed environmental and health impacts, lessons learned from the COVID-19-related restriction experiences on urban sustainability and urban planning, and about methods to study this unfortunate natural experiment.
In this Topic, we consider European and global studies related to COVID-19, environmental stressors, environmental health, and urban sustainability. We welcome contributions related to:
- COVID-19 restrictions and environmental quality (air, water, noise, waste, etc.);
- Health, wellbeing, and COVID-19;
- COVID-19 and urban sustainability (e.g., lessons learned from COVID-19 for urban sustainability policies, changes in urban policies derived from lessons learned under COVID-19);
- COVID-19, urban morphology, and the compact city;
- COVID-19 and SDGs.
Dr. Hai-Ying Liu
Prof. Dr. Daniel Dunea
- built environment
- environmental quality
- environmental stressors
- health and wellbeing
- mental health
- urban morphology
- urban planning
- urban sustainability
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