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Authors and affiliations:

Marino, Raul (University of Melbourne)
Vargas, Elkin (BuroDAP Colombia)
Flores, Mariana (University of Seville-México)


Housing habits and public space use have been affected by the restrictions of the Covid19 pandemic in all cities in the world.  The lack of access to public space and social interactions can have a negative impact on public health and quality of living (Bloomberg, 1994; Bishop, 2017). Also, restrictions on recreation and exercise in public spaces can increase vulnerability to Covid19, comorbidities as sedentarism is related to diabetes, high blood pressure and health problems (Hall et al, 2020).  These impacts must be understood in order to provide better responses to help communities and cities to adapt to the new conditions and enhance public health.

This paper presents the results of an investigation on these issues using literature review, location data and an online survey to collect quantitative and qualitative information from household members on how these restrictions have affected their daily life and their relationship with community and public space use.  Although the survey was open to all countries (n = 1532 complete responses), in this paper we will show a comparative analysis of the three Latin-American cities that provided more responses to the survey, Bogota, Quito and Mexico DF, (n = 650 complete responses) which give enough information to understand how Latin-American households and cities respond and adapt to the crisis.  The analysis used  geospatial tools to correlate the survey’s respondents answers with the reports from governments providing the location of the number of contagions in the case study cities, vulnerability index and data at different administrative levels or scales (localities, zones, and municipalities). The main objective of this research is to explore the correlations between variables such as urban proximity (Kasraian, 2019), accessibility and density with public health indicators in order to identify possible patterns of incidence of contagions and social behaviour and help to reduce Covid19 spread in urban areas.

The results show that there is correlation between the number of contagions by zones and the change of user behaviour towards housing and public space use and adaptation.  This could support the efforts of communities and decision makers to improve public health standards, implement fit-for-purpose strategies to reduce vulnerability to Covid19 and other future pandemic contagions, improve the resilience of cities to adapt their economies, public spaces and green infrastructures networks and enhance urban proximity to essential services and public and natural spaces.

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