The Yale Law Journal

Forum Collection

Designing the Postpandemic City

07 Nov 2022
Housing LawInfrastructureLand Use

The COVID-19 pandemic forced cities to radically transform in order to survive. This Collection examines the impacts that these measures have had on urban landscapes and assesses how they might inform future policymaking efforts. Its Essays analyze COVID-era policy changes in areas including public space, affordable housing, and infrastructure.


Making the Temporary Permanent: Public Space in a Postpandemic World

Sarah Schindler

Local governments are deciding whether to retain modifications to the built environment implemented during the pandemic. While these sidewalk and street reconfigurations provide health and economic benefits, they also harm already-underrepresented community members. This Essay weighs these positive …


Can Affordable Housing Be a Safety Net? Lessons from a Pandemic

Noah M. Kazis

COVID-19 posed an unprecedented challenge to housing stability. This Essay argues that the pandemic exposed the mismatch of affordable-housing programs (including housing voucher programs, tax credits, and emergency rental assistance) to short-term crises, whether personal or nationwide. Yet the pan…


Infrastructure Sharing in Cities

Sheila R. Foster

This Essay reflects on the ways that cities engaged in “infrastructure sharing” during the pandemic, and the implications for the potential of cities to address infrastructure inequity. The Essay argues that while cities found creative ways to repurpose public spaces, more can be done to repurpose t…