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The new normal or the forgotten normal: contesting COVID-19 impact on contemporary architecture and urbanism

The new normal or the forgotten normal: contesting COVID-19 impact on contemporary architecture... The term New Normal has become a buzzword to describe the anticipated changes in human life across the globe due to the impact of COVID-19. The paper's purpose is challenging the surrender for the notion of the “New Normal” and constructing a framework by which a call for understanding the practice of architecture, urbanism and city planning before the COVID-19 and contest its responsibility towards the city and the community.Design/methodology/approachMethodologically, literature review, analysis of emerging positions and interviews are the selected tools for conducting the research. The paper adopts a position perceiving COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for reflections and revisions about the way people dwell on Earth. The paper aims at analyzing the positive impacts of COVID-19 in sociological and urban perspective.FindingsConsequently, the main finding of the paper, calls for reviving the forgotten normal in the way places, neighborhoods and cities are designed and planned. Lessons learned from the lockdown time and the actions taken will be analyzed with special attention to Gulf States.Research limitations/implicationsIn months, New Normal developed as the most used expression since the spread of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic marked the year 2020 with one of the biggest public health crises of all time, threatening to take away millions of lives. It is already initiating a massive economic crisis, triggering further negative consequences for human life, wellbeing and lifestyle. Numerous researchers illustrate that through history, humans faced the challenges of epidemics and pandemics and were able to use their will, capacities, resources and courage to resist and survive.Practical implicationsPandemics such as COVID-19 have caused a critical reassessment of urban spaces. This paper examines the city's relationship to concepts such as the individual, society, creativity, production and power to understand the causes and effects of urbanization. Cities, especially the globally significant ones – such as Wuhan, Milan, Madrid, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles – are disproportionally affected. Thus, the pandemic is evolving into an urban crisis, forcing us to reconsider our deeply held beliefs about good city form and the purpose of planning.Social implicationsThe nature of the architectural, urban and planning theory and practice, is responsible for looking ahead, formulating visions and offering alternatives. Consequently, the methodological approach adopted in the paper is structured on three main pillars. First, observing, monitoring, and provide diagnosis (what we learned from isolation). Second, understanding the local, regional and global context as the COVID-19 crisis creates a ripple of change on all levels and requires both global and local understanding. Third, formulating visions and looking aheadOriginality/valueSuffering from epidemics and pandemics is new to our time and our contemporary experience but not new to the history of humankind. Revisiting the concepts of the New Normal vs. the Forgotten Normal and use the outcomes to construct an alternative framework for producing places in the post COVID-19 paradigm crystalize the value and originality of the paper. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research Emerald Publishing

The new normal or the forgotten normal: contesting COVID-19 impact on contemporary architecture and urbanism

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References (77)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2631-6862
DOI
10.1108/arch-10-2020-0249
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The term New Normal has become a buzzword to describe the anticipated changes in human life across the globe due to the impact of COVID-19. The paper's purpose is challenging the surrender for the notion of the “New Normal” and constructing a framework by which a call for understanding the practice of architecture, urbanism and city planning before the COVID-19 and contest its responsibility towards the city and the community.Design/methodology/approachMethodologically, literature review, analysis of emerging positions and interviews are the selected tools for conducting the research. The paper adopts a position perceiving COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for reflections and revisions about the way people dwell on Earth. The paper aims at analyzing the positive impacts of COVID-19 in sociological and urban perspective.FindingsConsequently, the main finding of the paper, calls for reviving the forgotten normal in the way places, neighborhoods and cities are designed and planned. Lessons learned from the lockdown time and the actions taken will be analyzed with special attention to Gulf States.Research limitations/implicationsIn months, New Normal developed as the most used expression since the spread of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic marked the year 2020 with one of the biggest public health crises of all time, threatening to take away millions of lives. It is already initiating a massive economic crisis, triggering further negative consequences for human life, wellbeing and lifestyle. Numerous researchers illustrate that through history, humans faced the challenges of epidemics and pandemics and were able to use their will, capacities, resources and courage to resist and survive.Practical implicationsPandemics such as COVID-19 have caused a critical reassessment of urban spaces. This paper examines the city's relationship to concepts such as the individual, society, creativity, production and power to understand the causes and effects of urbanization. Cities, especially the globally significant ones – such as Wuhan, Milan, Madrid, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles – are disproportionally affected. Thus, the pandemic is evolving into an urban crisis, forcing us to reconsider our deeply held beliefs about good city form and the purpose of planning.Social implicationsThe nature of the architectural, urban and planning theory and practice, is responsible for looking ahead, formulating visions and offering alternatives. Consequently, the methodological approach adopted in the paper is structured on three main pillars. First, observing, monitoring, and provide diagnosis (what we learned from isolation). Second, understanding the local, regional and global context as the COVID-19 crisis creates a ripple of change on all levels and requires both global and local understanding. Third, formulating visions and looking aheadOriginality/valueSuffering from epidemics and pandemics is new to our time and our contemporary experience but not new to the history of humankind. Revisiting the concepts of the New Normal vs. the Forgotten Normal and use the outcomes to construct an alternative framework for producing places in the post COVID-19 paradigm crystalize the value and originality of the paper.

Journal

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 30, 2021

Keywords: New normal; COVID-19; Post COVID-19 architecture and Urbanism; Urban isolation; Social justice; Just cities; Post pandemic public spaces; Post COVID-19 Gulf cities

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