Jeff Wood
Urban Reads

Pandemic Still Reducing Urban Interactions

All the city news you can use.

By - May 7th, 2023 02:35 pm
Cafe Hollander. Photo taken Oct. 26, 2020 by Dave Reid.

Cafe Hollander. Photo taken Oct. 26, 2020 by Dave Reid.

Every day at The Overhead Wire we sort through over 1,500 news items about cities and share the best ones with our email list. At the end of the week, we take some of the most popular stories and share them with Urban Milwaukee readers. They are national (or international) links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

10th anniversary of the CaEnviroScreen: California is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the CalEnviroScreen, a mapping system that pinpoints cumulative environmental impacts to communities and determines environmental justice funding. To this day the state has invested $6B in climate monies based on the mapping tool which pulls together indicators such as air pollution, social vulnerability, asthma hospitalization, lead exposure and more. (California EPA)

Pandemic reduced interactions: New research from MIT looking at where people visit in cities has found that diverse urban interactions have been reduced from anywhere between 15% and 30% by the pandemic in four cities. This means that people are less likely now to visit areas of the city that are socioeconomically different than their own. Researchers looked at anonymized cell phone data over a three year period starting in 2019. (Peter Dizikes | MIT News)

Missing medical appointments: A report from the Urban Institute found that one out of five people without access to transportation have foregone medical appointments because they could not get to the hospital or doctor’s office. Missed medical appointments have cost healthcare providers $150B annually, and as such they’ve been increasing efforts to make sure people have access to care. (Shannon Muchmore | Smart Cities Dive)

Can porch culture solve loneliness?: This last week the Surgeon General declared an epidemic of loneliness in the United States saying that even before the pandemic 50% of people felt lonely at some point. But one way to feel connected is through reaching out to neighbors and being out on your porch socializing. Porches used to be more main stream, but air conditioning, televisions and the automobile kept people further away from each other and coaxed people to stay indoors. (Sophie Hills | Mother Jones)

Walt Disney never wanted EPCOT residents: A fight between Florida’s governor and The Walt Disney Company have come to a head in recent months with lawsuits going back and forth over control of the land under Walt Disney World. The Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (EPCOT) was supposed to be Walt‘s vision for urban development, but new information suggests that it might have been a ploy to control the property while not having any residents. (Molly Olmstead | Slate)

Quote of the Week

[NFL Draft week] was one of the slowest weeks we’ve had all year, which was definitely a shock. We doubled our advertisements on Instagram. We made sure we were fully stocked and staffed, and it was a huge disappointment.

-Business owner Chanel Jezek in Startland News discussing reduced business during the NFL draft in Kansas City last week.

This week on the podcast, we’re joined by Trevor Latimer to talk about his book, Small Isn’t Beautiful: The Case Against Localism (Brookings).

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Categories: Urban Reads

One thought on “Urban Reads: Pandemic Still Reducing Urban Interactions”

  1. Colin says:

    Well as much as folks wanna cover their ears and go la-la-la… flu rates and death rates are still greater than they were pre-pandemic. Until they fully get to that level don’t expect human interaction to either.

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