Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Urban Crises and the Covid-19 Pandemic: An Analytical Framework for Metropolitan Resiliency

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Abstract:  Social scientists of the urban condition have long been interested in the causes and consequences of the phenomena that shape the growth and decline of cities and their suburbs. Such interests have become increasingly relevant in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the course of the pandemic, many academic and popular analyses have confronted two essential questions: How has the pandemic changed the city? And given these changes, are they permanent? This current scholarly and popular dialogue generally lacks comparative analysis. In this article, we attempt to further the analysis and discussion about the pandemic and the city by reframing the debate through three comparative lenses: temporal, scalar, and dimensional. Drawing on the debate and experience of urban areas in the United States, we present an analytical framework to apply a comparative analytical approach. Three temporal analytical matrices are presented: (a) pre-pandemic, (b) current-pandemic, and (c) post-pandemic. These matrices articulate the relationships between a city’s developmental patterns and their related dimensions of urbanization. We pay special attention to the nature of scale within and among the cities and suburbs of regions. Each matrix is tested and contextualized using relevant narratives from cities in the United States before, during, and after the pandemic on various issues, including housing, transportation, and economic development. This framework will serve as an analytical tool for future research on the pandemic and how cities can become more resilient to such shocks.

Keywords:  Covid-19; economic restructuring; pandemic; population change; resilience; urban crises; urbanization



© Thomas J. Vicino, Robert H. Voigt, Mahir Kabir, Jonathan Michanie. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.