Street recovery in the age of COVID-19: Simultaneous design for mobility, customer traffic and physical distancing
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This paper explores the relationship between urban traffic, retail location and disease control during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and tries to find a way to simultaneously address these issues for the purpose of street recovery. Drawing on the concept of the 15 min city, the study also aims at seeking COVID-19 exit paths and next-normal operating models to support long-term business prosperity using a case study of Royal Street, East Perth in Western Australia. Nearly half of the shops became vacant or closed at the end of 2020 along the east section of Royal Street, demonstrating the fragility of small business in a car-oriented street milieu that is inadequately supported by proper physical, digital and social infrastructure. A key finding from the analysis is the formulation of the concept of the Minute City. This describes a truly proximity-centred and socially driven hyper-local city, where residents and retailers work together on the local street as a walkable public open space (other than movement space), and benefit from ameliorated traffic flow, improved business location and a safer, connected community.
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