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Yaqi Wang: Metropolitan Virus: A strategic planning framework to improve the resilience of the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic

Location: Metropolitan Region Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Mentors: Rodrigo Cardoso, Claudiu Forgaci
Keywords: Globalization, COVID-19, urban vulnerability, urban resilience

Metropolitan regions are the most urbanized and globalized areas as the concentration of population and economy in the world, which makes them exposed to various global emergency risks like pandemics. And the COVID-19 outbreak from Wuhan (China) at the end of 2019, can be a perfect case and opportunity to investigate and improve the vulnerability of metropolitan regions in highly contagious global diseases. Metropolitan Region Amsterdam, is one of the most developed regions in the Netherlands and the world, who is playing a significant role in globalization. However, in this emerging public health crisis, MRA has been the most vulnerable region as the current epidemic hotspot. The concentration of corona cases in the region has resulted in various negative impacts, both directly and indirectly. 

Considering these problems, this project is a research-oriented design in MRA for the post-pandemic vision. Firstly, through a series of theoretical, political, and spatial analysis, the main problem of MRA is that it is vulnerable to the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic due to a vicious cycle of urban vulnerability which has been exposed and intensified by the hazard of COVID-19. And the basic reason is related to its attachment to continuous economic growth. The government of MRA has also paid attention to this problem and attempted to transfer its development from a pro-financial model to a pro-well-being model with a theoretical underpinning called “Doughnut Economics”.  However, like many other experimental tests, this transformation follows the traditional planning method which is not suitable for dynamic risks like the pandemic. Therefore, this research is aiming at spatial and political strategies based on the methodology of dynamic planning to improve urban resilience facing the pandemic in the post-COVID MRA. And the fi nal concrete outcomes will be on different scales. There will be a vision of post-COVID MRA through a set of strategies of municipalities and institutions to improve urban resilience. And on a local scale, there will be a resilient design for different pandemic vulnerabilities for an equal and sustainable community.

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