Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are four ways that cities around the globe are responding to the impact of COVID-19 on their local communities. 

• How can donors support and strengthen these efforts to address the pandemic? What is being done in your city? 

• Read about empowering city governments for quick responses to COVID-19. 

Since it emerged in Wuhan, China, the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has killed thousands of people, many in large urban centers worldwide. The map of infections in the United States tracks closely with its biggest, most globally connected cities.

But cities are not only at the forefront of response to the pandemic, they are also likely to see lasting changes from it, from their physical form to economic and community structure. Urban planning has been shaped by infectious disease for thousands of years. As governments, doctors and communities work to "flatten the curve," it’s likely that some policies and behavior changes will affect the way we live in cities for years to come.

Here are four ways cities are working to combat the spread of the disease.

  1. Restricting access Travel restrictions, both local and international, are the most obvious change to how cities are functioning around the world.
  2. Fortifying public transit systems After a study of in Hubei showed how COVID-19 spread from one person to nine over the course of a single long-distance bus journey, bus operations — where they are still running — are being adjusted to help prevent the spread of the virus.
  3.  Creating alternatives to public transit As people avoid crowds and movement is restricted, cities are reporting public transit ridership has taken a sharp downturn.
  4. Providing radical data transparency South Korea has asked people in home quarantine to use self-diagnostic apps that connect them with medical staff and launched a series of apps and websites that share detailed information on the spread of the disease.

As governments reassess priorities and consider stimulus packages, the imperative for more resilient, equitable, low-carbon cities remains unchanged.

Read the full article about how cities are coping with COVID-19 by Schuyler Null at GreenBiz.