Ideas

The Enright Files: Rethinking how our cities can be more liveable

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted what doesn’t work in our cities, from overcrowding on public transit, to the lack of green spaces where people can be physically active outside — yet maintain a safe, physical distance from each other. This month on the Enright Files, conversations about how to make cities happier, healthier and more liveable.
People enjoy a warm sunny day in a city park in Montreal, May 24, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode53:59

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the many flaws and failures of our way of life that were hidden in plain sight ⁠— the lack of public health preparedness, the vulnerability of our supply chains and local economies, the dangers of economic inequality, and the ongoing horror show of under-regulated long-term care homes. 

It's also highlighted what doesn't work in our cities ⁠— the lack of green spaces and other space where people can be physically active, and yet physically distanced from other people; the overcrowding in public transit and in low-income areas; the power of strong neighbourhoods and the need for more of them.

Conversations started decades ago about wrong-headed urban planning that prioritized the ambitions of developers and the swift movement of cars over healthy neighbourhoods, vibrant local economies and environmental sustainability. But the pandemic has brought an added urgency to those calls for new ways of building cities — and heightened attention to the more subtle ways in which cities let down the people who live in them.

This month on The Enright Files, conversations about how to make cities happier, healthier and more liveable.  
 

Guests in this episode:

Robin Mazumder is a Vanier Scholar and doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. He is also a Fellow with the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health.

Janette Sadik-Khan is a former Transportation Commissioner for New York City. and co-author of  Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. 

Sarah Moser is an assistant professor of geography and director of the Urban Studies Program at McGill University.
 


** The Enright Files is produced by Chris Wodskou.

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