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Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t Touch Your Face: Our Cities May Never Be the Same Again

People commute on a bus during morning rush hour in Beijing on May 22.
People commute on a bus during morning rush hour in Beijing on May 22.
People commute on a bus during morning rush hour in Beijing on May 22. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images

On this week's podcast: How the coronavirus could transform urban life.

The coronavirus has run rampant around the world’s cities, bringing them to a complete standstill. The joys of city life have been upturned as restaurants, theaters, and workplaces have all become potential vectors for transmission of the virus. 

This week’s episode looks at how cities could be transformed by the pandemic. Will urban residents flee to the suburbs, or will cities persist as they have through past epidemics? Do the world’s metropolises have a rare opportunity to reinvent themselves for a more equitable, sustainable future?

Don’t Touch Your Face hosts Amy Mackinnon and James Palmer are joined by Sara Carr, an assistant professor at Northeastern University’s School of Architecture, and Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management. 

Further reading

How Life in Our Cities Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic,” Foreign Policy

Glad you’re not here: stag party capitals vow to ‘do tourism differently,” the Observer

The pandemic is making people reconsider city living, trading traffic for chickens,” Washington Post

Even before coronavirus, census shows U.S. cities’ growth was stagnating,” Brookings

About Don’t Touch Your Face:  On the last day of 2019, China reported an unusual outbreak in Wuhan, a port city with a population of 11 million. Within two months, the disease would spread to almost every continent on the globe and kill thousands of people. From Foreign Policy, a podcast about the extent of the COVID-19 contagion, the threat it poses, and what countries are doing to contain it. Join FP’s James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon as they track the spread of the virus and explore what it means for people’s everyday lives. Have a coronavirus question for us to explore? Email it to  See All Episodes

More Don’t Touch Your Face episodes:

Don’t Touch Your Face: What the AIDS Epidemic Tells Us About COVID-19

On our final episode (for now), we examine an older public health crisis and the lessons it offers.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Dating During Covid-19

On this week’s episode: How the pandemic is changing the way we meet people.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Pandemic Within a Pandemic

On this week’s episode: How the world may see more protests as lockdowns lift.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:

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