Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery

Type: Research Guide

Status: Published May 2020

During a few short weeks, much of the world as we know it changed. The COVID-19 global pandemic altered every aspect of urban life in recent months. In response, city transportation officials around the world have quickly implemented new street design and management tools to keep essential workers and goods moving, provide safe access to grocery stores and other essential businesses, and ensure that people have safe space for social/physical distancing while getting outside. These evolving practices will shape our cities as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and are key to our long-term recovery.

As a response to this crisis, Street Plans worked alongside NACTO, NACTO’s Global Designing Cities Initiative, Bloomberg Associates, Street Plans, and Sam Schwartz Consulting to create a resource that aggregates and synthesizes emerging best practices in transportation and street design in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights cities’ current efforts to re-organize streets to best manage this crisis and support economic recovery. 

As of May 21, 2020, Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery includes an introduction to using streets for recovery and response (pdf) and detailed implementation information about the following street strategies:

  • Lanes for Biking & Rolling 
  • Sidewalk Extensions 
  • Transit Lanes 
  • Slow Streets 
  • Pick-Up & Delivery Zones 
  • Outdoor Dining 
  • Markets