Healthy People / Healthy Planet

Design Principal and Founder Carol Ross Barney reflects on the impacts of COVID-19.

“Like most architects, planners and urbanist in general, we have been thinking about the lasting effect COVID-19 will have on the built environment…especially cities. Until March, it seemed that the 21st century was going to be an age lead not by empires or countries but by powerful cities. Rapidly growing urban areas produced over 80% of the World’s Gross Economic Product and housed over 50% of its population. People living together inspire each other. Along with density comes intellectual innovation and economic energy. And now just a few short months later, we are being forced to rethink how we occupy our buildings and public spaces and how to replace essential synergies.

Ross Barney Architects designs almost exclusively in this public realm. In the past few years we have concentrated on creating space that is sustainable, inclusive and resilient. The COVID-19 crisis has tested our work in ways we had not imagined. We haven’t had the opportunity to conduct in-depth evaluations of post COVID building performance but initial glimpses are intriguing.”