Post-pandemic cities: An urban lexicon of accelerations/decelerations

Publication Name

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers


COVID-19 has stimulated renewed societal and academic debate about the future of cities and urban life. Future visons have veered from the ‘death of the city’ to visual renderings and limited experiments with novel 15 minute neighbourhoods. Within this context, we as a diverse group of urban scholars sought to examine the emergent ‘post’-COVID city through the production of an urban lexicon that investigates its socio-material contours. The urban lexicon makes three contributions. First, to explore how the pandemic has accelerated certain processes and agendas, while at the same time, other processes, priorities and sites have been decelerated and put on hold. Second, to utilise this framing to examine the impacts of the pandemic on how cities are governed, how urban geographies are managed and lived, and how care emerged as a vital urban resource. Third, to tease out what might be temporary intensifications and what may become configurational in urban governance, platforming, density, technosolutionism, dwelling, crowds, respatialisation, reconcentration, care, improvisation and atmosphere. The urban lexicon proposes a vocabulary for describing and understanding some of the key contours of the emergent post-pandemic city.

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