Entrances manned by security guards. Haphazardly placed paper signage for directions. Navigating endless tape to get in and out of buildings. Getting around the city can feel very much like entering a war zone nowadays. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted our everyday lives but our urban landscape too. The sudden need for new screening protocols has led to many makeshift solutions that have upended the design of places and fragmented them into ugly, awkward and even dead spaces.
While once regarded as temporary inconveniences, measures such as screening and social distancing look likely to become a permanent part of our everyday with cities planning to live with Covid-19 as an endemic disease. How they are integrated into our built environment needs to be re-examined lest they permanently remake the city into a fortress.