Post-Pandemic Cities


COVID-19 is altering city experiences and spaces. As cities respond, the contours of post-pandemic cities are also being altered, for better or worse. This podcast brings together  a group of leading Sydney-based urbanists to start a conversation about what cities will look like post-COVID, and how pathways towards a just urban recovery might be fostered.

“We’ve been thinking about the imperative for innovation; how that’s reshaping how cities are being governed. And all of that got thrown into a new light by COVID” 

Professor Pauline McGuirk

We focus on whether COVID-19 reproduces or challenges existing urban inequalities, what innovations in urban governance are shaping recovery pathways, and what types of cities will result from altered planning and policy processes.

“To keep a critical analytical gaze on exactly what decisions are made and keep the pressure on about publicising who benefits, who may not benefit to the same extent, what effect will they have, and that’s long been a project of critical urban political geography

Professor Pauline McGuirk

Workshop Organisers

This episode follows a Zoom conversation on post-pandemic urbanism and the prospects for a just urban recovery, which you can listen to in full conversation below.


The workshop was organised by the following scholars and attended by almost 150 participants.

Pauline McGuirk is Director of the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space (ACCESS) at the University of Wollongong. Her research focuses on how cities are governed and the practices, techniques and politics involved as approaches to urban governance change.

Robyn Dowling is Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at The University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the character of everyday life in cities, and on the ways urban governance responds to the disruptions of technology and a changing climate.

Sophia Maalsen is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. She researches the intersection of the digital, material and the everyday, with particular interest in the digital mediation of housing and cities.

Tom Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research examines the politics and practice of policy-making and the governance of socio-economic marginality.

Workshop Panelists

You can listen to the individual panelist’s talks below.

Chris Gibson on the economy

Professor of Human Geography, University of Wollongong


Emma Power on housing

Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

Publication: Housing policy and the COVID-19 pandemic: the importance of housing research during this health emergency


Kurt Iveson on public space

Associate Professor in the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney


Jennifer Kent on public transport

DECRA in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney


Elle Davidson on Indigeneity and urbanism

Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney


Kristian Ruming on urban planning

Associate Professor in Geography, Macquarie University


Chris Pettit on technology and data

Professor of Data Science, University of New South Wales


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