Hi everybody, Rich Florida again, here to talk about the COVID-19 and Coronavirus pandemic and how it's affecting our cities and reshaping our cities, and really to take you on a history tour of previous pandemics. Now, you'll see on the course site, I have a bunch of supplementary readings, required readings in supplementary readings. Some of those I wrote. And also I've included some Zooms and webinars, which have my slide deck. So you can look at those. But I just want to talk to you right now, for a minute, about what I've been able to learn about pandemics and infectious disease. And recognize, as I said in the opening day video, over the course of this crisis, I've spent a lot of time learning and retooling myself about the role of infectious disease. I've went back and read scores of books on the Bubonic plagues and the black plagues, cholera epidemic, Spanish Flu of 1918. I've read hundreds, literally hundreds of papers and articles about this current COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic, and what cities are doing, how the virus is propagating itself, and what we can do, what we can expect. How we can expect this virus to reshape our cities? And I want to tell you something about that. Look, the bottom line is, urbanization has always been a far more powerful force than infectious disease. Today we have advanced medical technology. Most countries around the world, even less advanced countries have functional health systems. We have the potential, and we are developing now, antiviral technologies. And we have the potential to develop vaccines. We have all sorts of supplementary medications, antibiotics. We have some antiviral therapies, oxygen treatment, we have all sorts of treatments we didn't have before. Even when people were packed together in cities, if you think about this, just the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, which I've read a lot about, people were packed together in tenements. They had to go to work in factories. It was the middle of a world war, they had to go to work in factories. They had no capacity to socially distance. Only rich people have access to health care. Most working people had no access to healthcare, no access to hospital. And we survived that. Now think about it, back in that time in the United States, which arguably was one of, if not the most advanced economy on the planet, the average life expectancy of somebody living in a city, and my grandparents came from Italy, at the turn of the century. So when my grandparents arrived in New York City and then moved to Newark, New Jersey, the average life expectancy of folks in a city was about 35 or 36 years old. And about one in five kids died. We had an infant mortality rate of about one in five kids died. It was unbelievably terrible. We had no way to stop these. And if you go back even further, to the Black Plagues, they killed millions upon millions of people, in some cities, 40 or 50% of residents, and still people came to cities. In fact, as strange as this is to think about, often times people come to cities in the wake of pandemics for the economic opportunity they offer. I've mentioned my grandparents, my grandparents came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century, because of the, even though our cities were deadly and toxic and filled with disease, because of the economic opportunity in places like New York City and Newark, which were so much greater than back home in Southern Italy. Look, cities have two sides. On the one hand, they are breeding grounds, and have been breeding grounds, because of density, for infectious disease. But on the other hand, the same density that pushes people together and brings people together and concentrates them is what causes innovation and economic development. In fact, Jane Jacobs who you'll have learned about, we'll talk about more in this class, and the great Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Lucas and the more recent Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer, all came to the same conclusion. That cities are the driving force of economic development in our time. It used to be big companies and natural resources. But today, cities are the prime mover in economic development, because they bring together diverse clusters of people and knowledge and talent, smush them together, concentrate them and generate economic growth and development. So that force of cities propelling economic development has always been, that force of urbanization, has always been a greater force than infectious disease. Even when our cities far less healthy, far dirtier, far more congested. And one thing that's very interesting, that we'll talk about, if you think about this in a economic sense, cities have two kinds of value that urban economists say they add. The first kind of value they add is their productivity value. By pushing people together, by concentrating talent, by increasing our diversity, by increasing our exposure to one another. Cities increase innovation, they become, we talked about this in this course, even high-tech innovation, high-tech startups have shifted from suburban office campuses in places like Silicon Valley, to the urban centers of San Francisco and to lower Manhattan. That's the productivity value. And the productivity value of cities is enormous. That's why people flock to cities recently. That's why cities have become the engines of economic growth. But cities also have an amenity or dis-amenity value. It's the flip side. Now for most of human history, cities came with a dis-amenity value. They were dangerous. They were violent. They were propagators of infectious disease. They were where pandemics and epidemic spread. So through most of human history, which is really interesting, cities had to pay a premium, urban economists called this a wage premium, to attract people. And during great epidemics, that's exactly what they did. They raised wages. And in fact, they raised wages to attract people from the countryside. They raise wages to attract foreign immigrants. They actually offered people citizenship. But something happened over the past couple of decades. Cities, for the first time, were valued for their amenity value. As we developed antibiotics, antiviral treatment, as we went through this golden era where we thought we were protected from pandemic disease, even though we weren't, there is AIDS, there was SARS, there was MERS. But even though as we thought we were protected cities became valued because of the amenities they provide, the art galleries, the restaurants, the creative culture, the music scenes, all of it, the shopping. And so affluent people, in fact affluent people who didn't have to work, retired people, rich people, rich people from around the world, flocked to cities like New York or London or Paris or Toronto or Vancouver, because of the amenity value. Now, one of the things the pandemic is doing is again, sorting us on the productivity value and the amenity value of cities. I wrote a whole book called The New Urban Crisis, we talked about in this class, that said one of the things that was happening in cities is they were becoming so expensive, because of the amenities they offer. They were attracting so many people, that they were pushing out hard-working people, service workers, front-line workers, the poor, even middle class people, and creatives, artistic creatives. And they were leaving the cities because they were becoming gentrified and filled with rich people. Well, one of the things this pandemic may do is reset cities, so that people who are there for the amenity value, leave, and people who are there for the productivity value, who want to work in finance or entertainment or technology, come or stay. So I think Derek Thompson from The Atlantic wrote a great piece on what's happening to retail and restaurants and shopping and cities. And it was saying, it's kind of the retail apocalypse put on steroids. Restaurants are going to fail, maybe half of restaurants, more than half of retail businesses. But as they do, it'll be like a forest fire. As it burns down the old-growth, new brush comes up and new growth comes up and the forest gets restored. Maybe we have the opportunity to reset our cities. Now, one thing I can tell you, is that the pandemic will not be the end of cities. So many people were saying this is the end of cities, we're all going to leave cities, people have rushed in the wake of this, especially from New York City, to the suburbs, to the beachfront places like the Hamptons, to country homes in places like the Hudson Valley, with their parents who might live elsewhere, with friends scattered about the country. So people keep saying it's the end of cities, people are going to leave. Well, they said that before. They said that during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they even said it after the great economic and financial crisis of 2008, and it never happened. In fact, those were the times, the past 20 years, where people flocked to cities and flocked to New York, in particular. Look, this is going to be a period of adjustment. It's going to be a hard six months or a year, or 18 months until we get over this darn virus, develop better therapies, develop a vaccine, or develop your herd immunity. But, look, if you look at the roster of cities three, four, five years around, it's still going to be great cities like New York, and London, and Tokyo, and Shanghai, and Paris, and we can go on down the list. Our cities will survive. That said, and it's really interesting, it's not like this pandemic has just hit at big cities. Of course New York was leveled by the virus. Then that led people to say, well, density was the propagator. Well, other dense cities in Asia, much denser cities in Asia have been hardly hit, and San Francisco, which is a big dense city, the second densest city in the United States fared far better. There are three kinds of places that seem to have been really hit. One are big cities like New York and London, Madrid, which have a lot of travel, a lot of tourists, a lot of exposure to the virus. The second kind of place was places that are connected by industrial supply chains. Places like Detroit and Northern Italy, that have relationships to China, and especially Wuhan. Detroit through its automotive supply chain, and the sharing of workers between Detroit and China. And actually Northern Italy, Bergamo in particular, has not only automotive supply chain relationships with China, but fashion goods, purses, and leather goods and fashions are also part of supply chains. Another kind of place that's really been hard hit are these kind of jet-set resorts like ski slope towns in the Alps or in the Rocky Mountains, which have had high attack rates because of tourism, and they brought it back to their country. That said, in the United States, today, we're seeing big outbreaks in rural areas. In fact, there's a place called Albany, Georgia a relatively small place, that has the highest outbreak rate, both in terms of infection and in terms of death, even higher than New York. So it's not density alone, there are many other characteristics of places that we have to take into account that propagate and spread this virus and make certain kinds of places vulnerable. I want as I said is density. For sure, denser places are more vulnerable. They have more risk of contagion, but it's not just density. Think about it as overcrowding. I live in a dense neighborhood, but I can work remotely. I'm talking to you remotely. I was able to avoid going to a store, I could type in my computer or on my cell phone and get stuff delivered to me. But other kinds of people who are front line workers, or live in developing world cities, don't have that luxury. For them density means living in multi-generational families, living in crowded conditions, working and taking transit. And in fact some studies we have show, of the Mission District in San Francisco, is that, the disease has been very much concentrated among front line workers and less advantaged people as well as the old and the vulnerable. What other factors seem to make places vulnerable? Age, a place like Northern Italy just has an older population. One of the reasons San Francisco probably fared better is because it's population is relatively young. Affluence, New York is a more diverse place, Detroit is a more diverse place. They have poor pockets. Whereas a place like San Francisco is a relatively rich city, with housing prices so expensive that people got pushed out. Health and fitness, certain kinds of places have a healthier and fitter population and others. Some places like Northern Italy have a high degree of religiosity, many people going to church or temples. Same is true in parts of New York, like Brooklyn, where there's large catholic populations or there's large Hasidic or Orthodox, Jewish populations. Places that have large multi-generational families, because we know the number one mode of transmission has been within families. Now, it's not just density. There are many other characteristics of demography and of populations of communities that make people and places more or less vulnerable to the virus. One of the things I'd like to talk about are the kinds of things that may reshape our cities. And here I think there are two kinds of forces. While great cities like New York, and London, and Tokyo, and Paris, and Madrid and all the great cities, they're going to survive this, what pandemics and infectious disease tend to do is reshape cities. They lead to advances in infrastructure. We saw cities in the past change their construction methods, use more of concrete and brick instead of wood. Tiles and stainless steel faucets in bathrooms. The introduction of the powder room, the first floor powder room so that people can clean up as they entered the house or a mudroom to take their shoes off. The rise of new building codes, that made it so that we would have more light and ventilation. The green space and parks movement. We'll see that again. Our cities will be reshaped, and I think there's two kinds of forces. The first force is a set of pull factors. There will be the factors that pull some groups out of cities. For families with children, for the old and the vulnerable, we've already seen them heading out of cities and moving to the suburbs. And I think here people will want private amenities. If you have kids, you want a backyard, and a swing set and maybe if you have a little money a pool for them playing. Remote work, about 40% of the workforce in advanced countries can work remote, and more people are working remotely. Those will pull some people out of cities. Families with children, the old and the vulnerable. But there are push factors that are going to push some groups back to cities. And one is the fact that high paying jobs in finance, and technology and media, especially if air travel is restricted for a time, are going to keep concentrating in big cities. The second thing is that young people, who are less prone and less vulnerable to the virus, are more likely to move back to cities, especially, as housing prices become more affordable. And then artists and creatives, who been priced out of cities, who are pretty risk oblivious, they tend to charge back to cities in the wake of crises when housing prices are better. So I think you're going to have these push and pull factors. Look our cities are still going to look the same, the buildings are going to look more or less same, the streets are going to look more or less the same, but they're going to be used differently. I think we're going to see less transit. People are going to be scared. More people are going to drive. And that's going to put pressure on roads, especially in big cities like New York and Toronto and Chicago, which depend heavily on transit. We'll see maybe some roads turn into busways to take the pressure off the subways and trains. Maybe, in some cities that have water, more use of ferries. The other thing, I think, we're going to see is expanded use of bikeways, as people use bikes to get around because they feel safer outside. I think some neighborhoods close to commercial centers and office centers in urban downtown's are going to become more valued because people want to walk to work. We're going to see some streets get pedestrianized. We're going to see more green spaces and parks. We're going to see more outdoor restaurants. So, I think, look, the balance of these push and pull factors will depend. If we're over this thing in, say, six months, if we have an effective vaccine or antiviral therapies, our cities will look more or less the same. If it goes on, for a year, a year and a half, two years, I think then we'll see some longer lasting changes. But one of the things I want you to all think about, is that we tend to forget pretty quickly after pandemics. I told you in my introduction video, I was born in the middle of a pandemic. Nobody ever told me about it. All of my aunts and uncles, or most of them, were born during an even greater pandemic, nobody even mentioned it. There's very little writing from great literature, from Hemingway or Faulkner, all of the great writers who wrote about this period of time. And of course, the 1918 pandemic was followed by of all things, the Roaring Twenties, this period of an extended party. So what we tend to do is maybe because they're so terrifying, is we forget about pandemics quickly. Well, I hope we remember this one, and I hope we understand that our cities need to be more resilient and healthier and safer. That we need to make sure that our cities stay healthy and safe. And we need to protect ourselves from future pandemics. But the main message is, our cities will survive, and they will thrive and they'll grow again.