A research conducted by scholars of the Zhejiang City Planning Center (China) attempted to clarify why the coronavirus was transmitted more easily in some cities around the world. From the study entitled “Role of urban planning characteristics in forming pandemic resilient cities“, Just published in the ‘Cities’ magazine, it emerged that the vulnerability of a metropolis depends on one combination of several factors.
Covid and transmissibility: the study on 30 European cities
The analysis of the 30 European cities examined revealed that, for example, the incidence of infections compared to the number of inhabitants is often higher in cities with radial urban conformation.
In reality, however, the strongest association between the spread of Covid and the “shape of the city” insists on another specific element: capillarity of the public transport system and the quantity of internal displacements occurring on the means.
The researchers, in fact, as reported by the ‘Corriere della Sera’, explained that “often the cities with a radial conformation have a better internal connection”.
A crucial role in determining the vulnerability of cities to the spread of Covid may also have played the number of inhabitants, the population density and the connection with distant areas. Or, rather, the combination of all these factors.
More precisely, as explained by scholars, the number of inhabitants of a city and the population density do not have a constant and direct correlation with a greater probability of spread of the coronavirus. The trajectory of the epidemic, given the same context, can in fact also be very different. Both of these factors, however, may have played a role.
More than the density per se, it also emerged that what matters is whether or not there are large overpopulated areas.
The “Milan case”
The study showed that in Milan over 40% of the internal movements happens on buses, trams, subways and trains. This, the scholars explained, has “an evident influence on the contagion”, since the level of internal connection generates accessibility and increasingly consistent flows of displacement and the continuous movement of the masses represents one of the engines of the contagion.
That said, the city of Milan was found to be one of the cities most affected by Covid in Europe for a number of factors: thevery high capillarity of the means in fact, it is combined with a rather high population density (compared to the other 30 cities analyzed in the study).
Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that the “Milan case” must be framed within a broader context, namely that of Lombardy, among the areas most affected by the pandemic.
Virgil News | 09-26-2021 11:27
Photo source: ANSA