Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.” This “epidemic,” he said, is “associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.” The uncertainty and isolation surrounding COVID-19 has worsened this epidemic, as social distancing and quarantining have disrupted common ways of connecting with others.
This month, WUF will consider how the built environment, including temporary initiatives to expand outdoor dining, shopping, and physical activity during COVID, influences opportunities for social interaction, and in what ways these methods of interacting impact health and define community. How does urban or architectural design either remediate or proliferate social isolation? How can cities create spaces that are inclusive and designed to promote social cohesion? What examples of this are we seeing in Westside communities? And whose job is it to consider and implement such solutions? How can these solutions serve the most vulnerable residents and advance social justice? Please join us to consider how cities in the Los Angeles region can become friendlier and healthier.
August 11, 2020
Lisa Parson, Special Assistant to City Manager for Equity and Economic Recovery, City of Santa Monica
Matthew Lister, Partner and Managing Director, Gehl
Frances Anderton, Host/Producer, DnA: Design and Architecture, KCRW
Caroline Cicero, Instructional Associate Professor of Gerontology Director, USC Age Friendly University Initiative
For more info, go to Westside Urban Forum
Graphic – Automat, Edward Hopper