Throughout history, pandemics have shaped the way of life, the planning, and the governance of cities. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic invokes memories of the bubonic plague of 1896 and the influenza pandemic of 1918-19 in India. These outbreaks affected cities like Bombay and Ahmedabad. Each of these public health crises prompted significant civic initiatives in improving sanitation and legislation like improvement trust acts, which laid the foundations for town planning in India.
Each pandemic has transformed urban societies. Covid-19, too, will surely leave its impact on the future growth and planning of cities. However, every pandemic is different, and covid-19 will require different responses from policymakers, civil society, and the public. By examining the responses to the 19th and the 20th-century pandemics, this discussion will offer insights on the possible impacts of the current pandemic on sustainable urban life.
Our speakers, experts in history, urban planning, and population studies, will examine the response to the pandemics of a century ago and trace the throughline on urban planning, city development, public health, and overall urban life, specifically in Bombay and Ahmedabad.