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Cities in a Post-COVID World


  • Richard Florida
  • Andres Rodriguez-Pose
  • Michael Storper


This paper examines the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic, fiscal, social and political fallout on cities and metropolitan regions. We assess the effect of the pandemic on urban economic geography at the intra- and inter-regional geographic scales in the context of four main forces: the social scarring instilled by the pandemic; the lockdown as a forced experiment; the need to secure the urban built environment against future risks; and changes in the urban form and system. At the macro-geographic scale, we argue the pandemic is unlikely to significantly alter the winner-take-all economic geography and spatial inequality of the global city system. At the micro-geographic scale, however, we suggest that it may bring about a series of short-term and some longer-running social changes in the structure and morphology of cities, suburbs, and metropolitan regions. The durability and extent of these changes will depend on the timeline and length of the pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Florida & Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2020. "Cities in a Post-COVID World," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2041, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:2041

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
    2. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    3. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2020. "Housing, urban growth and inequalities: The limits to deregulation and upzoning in reducing economic and spatial inequality," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 57(2), pages 223-248, February.
    4. McLaren John, 2021. "Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Deaths: Seeking Economic Roots with Census Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(3), pages 897-919, July.
    5. Edward E Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(4), pages 641-665, December.
    6. Jeffrey E. Harris, 2020. "The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City," NBER Working Papers 27021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Shima Hamidi & Sadegh Sabouri & Reid Ewing, 2020. "Does Density Aggravate the COVID-19 Pandemic?," Journal of the American Planning Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 86(4), pages 495-509, October.
    8. Kemeny, Thomas & Storper, Michael, 2020. "Superstar cities and left-behind places: disruptive innovation, labor demand, and interregional inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103312, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marina Toger & Karima Kourtit & Peter Nijkamp & John Östh, 2021. "Mobility during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Data-Driven Time-Geographic Analysis of Health-Induced Mobility Changes," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(7), pages 1-21, April.
    2. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander, 2022. "The geography of COVID-19 in Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 68(1), pages 125-150, February.
    3. Gerritse, Michiel, 2022. "COVID-19 transmission in cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    4. Carla M. Kayanan, 2022. "A critique of innovation districts: Entrepreneurial living and the burden of shouldering urban development," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 54(1), pages 50-66, February.
    5. McDaniel, Michael & Sutter, Chris & Webb, Justin W. & Elgar, Frank J. & Parker, Karen F. & Nwachu, Jay, 2021. "Breaking the cycle of crime: Promoting the positive social spillover potential of entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 16(C).

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    More about this item


    Cities; COVID-19; Pandemic; Urban Structure; Remote Work.;
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