All over the world, cities are beginning to re-open after months of sheltering in place…and facing a new reality. Retail stores, restaurants and bars, and office environments are grappling with new restrictions to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, many of the large public gatherings that bring people together as a community are postponed or canceled. These new realities are causing many to rethink and reimagine the way we construct and use physical space, and how we connect and convene a neighborhood and its residents.
Boston, Minneapolis, Oakland, and Seattle have closed many streets to most vehicle traffic to provide more space for people to walk and bike at a safe distance apart. Cincinnati and Portland are working to close streets to expanded outdoor dining for restaurants. Here in Cleveland, there is conversation about potentially closing West 25th Street. How are other neighborhoods preparing for this new normal? What is being done to support neighborhood small businesses, restaurants, and cafes – many of which are minority-owned – as they begin to reopen? And what are the plans for creating connectivity this summer when most festivals and other free public events are canceled?
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