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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Cities After Covid,” an examination of how the pandemic has altered the status and future of urban centers, with John Rennie Short, geographer, scholar of urban issues, and professor of public policy at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
One need not walk far through Washington D.C. to see how the pandemic has impacted different sections of the city—and even businesses and people within them—in very different ways. Some neighborhoods have barely a trace of their former activity while others are bustling. Thriving businesses stand next to boarded storefronts. Office buildings remain mostly empty and parts of town feel more dangerous. The housing market is in a huge period of flux.
Are our nation’s cities going to return to the way they were? If not, what will the post-pandemic city look like?
Come hear such questions tackled by Dr. John Rennie Short, a geographer who has extensively monitored and written about the changes that cities have undergone since Covid first hit here in the late winter of 2020. He’ll give an overview of what we know, looking at population shifts and how differences in U.S. and European approaches to pandemic relief had markedly different impacts on cities. He’ll examine the health of downtown businesses and also crime trends and their impact.
Looking forward, he’ll discuss how cities are likely to be altered by more people working from home, companies settling into hybrid work weeks, and consumers’ greater reliance on online shopping. He’ll also discuss the role played by the distinct characteristics of specific cities, and whether cities with a substantial “creative class” are likely to bounce back better than others.
The obituary of the American cities has been written before—both the invention of the telephone and the 9/11 terrorist attacks led some to declare them doomed. Will they recover this time, enough to someday regard the pandemic as temporary setback? (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in. Bring proof of vaccination and a mask as they may be required in response to local infection rates. The Bier Baron will be requiring event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.)
Image: The empty streets of Chicago on March 22, 2020, the first day of a “Shelter in Place” order declared by the State of Illinois. Photo by Nick Jamison/ Wikimedia Commons.