people crossing a busy intersection with new york buildings in the background

Thinking About Post-Pandemic Cities

In this course, former University of Southern California Professor Peter Gordon takes a different approach, presenting some unexpectedly informative concepts to inform new ways of thinking about the pandemic and the mark it will leave on the world.

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Course Info

  • Duration 8 video lessons (36 Mins)
  • Published Published
    2022
  • Trending Trending
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Browse Course Chapters

  • 1. Introduction (1 min)
  • 2. What Do We Know? (5 mins)
  • 3. How Did We Get Here? (4 mins)
  • 4. Entrepreneurial Activity and Emergent Supply Chains (6 mins)
  • 5. Information, Knowledge, and Ideas (4 mins)
  • 6. New Combinations of Old Things (5 mins)
  • 7. Disruptors (6 mins)
  • 8. Conclusion (1 min)

Course Description

Most of the commentary about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the future of cities have focused specifically on outcomes for aspects of urban life like transit ridership, office vacancies, delivery services, and curb management. In this course, former University of Southern California Professor Peter Gordon takes a different approach, presenting concepts that inform new ways of thinking about the pandemic and the mark it will leave on the world. 

Prepared to be surprised. The concepts proposed here are designed to teach you how to think, more than what to think. Watching this course will prepare to approach the challenges and disruptions of recent years with an open mind, rather than motivated reasoning.

Still, the course does work toward a few conclusions, or predictions, despite the well explained difficulty in forecasting something as complex as a post-Covid world. The course strongly rejects the notion of the pandemic as a harbinger of death for cities—there is too much evidence of the importance of cities in cultivating all the prosperity of contemporary humans. But some of the continued flourishing of cities will depend on outward growth—or sprawl, as some call it. Counterintuitively, the instructor presents a clear optimism for urbanism—even if it's a more dispersed urbanism.

The conceptual frameworks presented in this course conclude with a discussion about the future of planning, specifically whether planning will take a more to-down approach, or a more grassroots approach, in the post-pandemic. The course includes a few daring forecasts about future, including one prediction about the continued, outward expansion of cities, and finally calls for planning reforms, such as less restrictive approaches to zoning, especially on vacant land.

AICP CM

This course is approved for .50 AICP CM credit.

Meet Your Instructor

Peter Gordon

Peter Gordon

Peter Gordon is Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. His research interests are in applied urban economics.

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