Common Areas, Common Causes: Public Space in High-Rise Buildings During Covid-19

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Common Areas, Common Causes: Public Space in High-Rise Buildings During Covid-19


  • Loren March Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Ute Lehrer Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University, Canada


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Abstract:  This article explores forms of public space that have been rendered palpable during the Covid-19 pandemic: public spaces in high-rise buildings. We consider both physical and social public space in this context, thinking about the safety of both common areas and amenities in buildings and the emergence of new publics around the conditions of tower living during the pandemic (particularly focusing on tenant struggles). We determine that the planning, use, maintenance, and social production of public space in high-rise buildings are topics of increasing concern and urgency and that the presence of public space in the vertical built forms and lifestyles proliferating in urban regions complicates common understandings of public space. We argue that the questions raised by the pandemic call upon us to reconsider the meanings of public space.

Keywords:  amenities; Canada; common areas; Covid-19; high-rise buildings; public space; urban lifestyle; vertical living

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v7i4.5610


© Loren March, Ute Lehrer. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.