Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Social Determinants, Urban Planning, and Covid-19 Response: Evidence From Quito, Ecuador

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Covid-19 has put all urban planning systems around the world to the test. Cities’ design and how these are managed are being observed, analyzed, and even questioned from the perspective of the pandemic. Density and poverty have been two fundamental aspects to manage in the pandemic scenario in cities of the Global South, which face this challenge along with other pre-pandemic planning problems. In the city of Quito, Ecuador, the response to the pandemic has been coordinated through regulations issued by the emergency operations center at the national level, and the information (number of cases) has been recorded per parish. The objective of this research is to determine if there is a relationship between Covid-19, poverty, and population density at the parish level for the canton of Quito. The results have shown that there is no correlation. What they did show is that due both to the difficulties of responding to the pandemic and the city’s planning structure, another type of characterization, or characterizations, of the territory (for example, by scenarios or by situations) is needed, which can respond to the needs of the most vulnerable groups. Another observable result was that the gap between urban planning and management instruments and the complexity of territorial needs contributes to the polarization of local government approaches, which compromises urban planning with minimum continuity and coherence.

Keywords:  Covid-19; pandemic scenario; Quito; social determinants; urban planning


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© Susana Herrero-Olarte, Angela Díaz-Márquez. 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.