Cities are hubs of innovation, economic growth and employment generation. At the same time, it is widely acknowledged that cities face major challenges around poverty, inequalities, climate change and a range of other socio-economic fragilities that often are painted by the utopian visions of ‘urban life’. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has only laid bare the lives of ‘the most vulnerable’, ‘the disadvantaged’, and the people on ‘cliff edges’ in ‘the city’. Whether it is the worst ever lockdown-induced urban migrant workers crisis in India or the failure of the New York city’s health care system to protect the lives of working class and coloured patients , the COVID-19 has brought the urban inequalities truly to the surface.
This 1-day seminar aims at engaging a diverse group of speakers and participants to discuss the disproportionate short-, medium- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 and explain/explore the role of different structural factors/differences and social inequalities in the outcomes of COVID-19. The seminar will end with key reflections, emergent insights and a framework on social inequalities and urban pandemic preparedness.