Pandemic Urbanism

May 14, 2020

Politics in the Pandemic Era:  A Reality Check on Urbanism vis a vis Intergovernmentalism

By Jenny Brekhus (, website)
City Council Member, Ward 1, City of Reno

The author will give this presentation at the Pandemic Urbanism Symposium in a session titled “Politics, Engagement & Activism,” from 10:15 – 11:15 AM on May 29, 2020.

In the national political divide of partisanship, demographics and geography, cities and regions have been able to go at it alone and be successful in advancing urbanism.  However, the pandemic lays bare that the federal government has an essential role in keeping communities healthy and prosperous at the local level.  While the federal government was inept in providing a prepared healthcare response to the pandemic risk, it is also the only level of government able to prop up crumbling state and local budgets and is embarking upon essential and massive investment in domestic programs that are being designed on the fly.  As the pandemic plays out in local settings not only is the federal government needed to coordinate response to the health emergency and backstop local economies, but to aid communities to tackle the unequal suffering that is experienced through our varied landscapes.