Forum told cities need to be more resilient
The impact of 2020 could last for many years and people need to heed the changes taking place in their communities and change with them to create a better place to live and work, experts told a forum focused on urban management in Japan and China.
First of all, cities need to become more resilient, said Wang Zhen, vice president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, at the “urban management amid the pandemic” forum hosted by the academy and the the Asian Growth Research Institute.
“COVID-19 is a test for all cities. Only with resilience can people recover from the chaos and then to stabilize the economy,” Wang said.
The test is for almost all urban systems, including laws and rules, health care, community structures, education, business networks and government-public relations, he said.
Kazuhiko Togo, a professor at Kyoto Sangyo University, said: “It is a comprehensive program and cities need to spend more efforts to improve such a culture of resilience, then can they excel in the future.”
Togo said that although traditional consumption had been seriously dented by the pandemic, new business formats, such as e-commerce, were taking shape to serve as new drivers of economic growth drivers.
Secondly, cities need to be smarter.
“There is a trend of people leaving the cities to buy homes in remote areas,” Togo told the forum. “It reflects their yearning for a life that is free, safe and healthy.”
It may be a dream for many in the past, but now, with technological advances, people can easily live in one place and work in another.
Li Jian, director of the center for population and development studies under the SASS, said policymakers should improve social protection to allow people more freedom and convenience when the pandemic created more remote-working and random-working models.
“The changes are taking place overnight, and policies need to be updated overnight too,” Li said.
Last but not least, countries and people need to collaborate more, experts said.