Weathering COVID-19: Lessons from Wuhan and Milan for Urban Governance and Sustainability

Xiangming Chen, published in The European Financial Review on 14 Jul. 2020

The global spread of COVID-19 has exposed the world’s largest and densest urban
centres to bearing the brunt of this pandemic. The invisible virus has forced thriving
metropolises to empty their streets and shops to dead spaces absent of people and
activity. It even triggers the doomsday question of, “Does COVID-19 mean the end of
cities?” In this article, we compare how two great cities of the East and West – Wuhan
and Milan – have responded to the deadly virus, with their internal and external
strengths and constraints. We also take the reader deep into the two cities’
neighbourhoods for a realistic sense of how their local residents have dealt with
COVID-19. We end by drawing critical lessons for urban governance and sustainability.

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