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Health and the City

Fri, Nov 13, 2020    1pm

The first session of a two-part conference on housing, public health and spatial justice, racial equity, and climate justice. In 2020, compounding crises across the globe encompassing economic injustice, racial inequity, and climate change have ignited public dialogue and urgent calls for action. Research and policy experts at Columbia GSAPP host conversations on how the field can respond to interlocking issues in public health, water, housing, infrastructure, migration, resilience, and resistance.

Panel One: Mapping the New Politics of Care
The Center for Spatial Research (CSR) and collaborators from the Yale School of Public Health will present a recent interactive map project that guides policymakers and the public in deploying health care workers to communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online map, Mapping the New Politics of Care, uses a wide array of up to date data. It shows that decisions about caring for those affected by the pandemic depend not just on surging or falling infection rates but instead on taking into account a range of pre-existing vulnerabilities in U.S. society. These conditions and vulnerabilities predated the pandemic and created the conditions for the virus to flourish in this country. The map displays the acute inequalities embedded in the social and political landscape of the United States. The project team will discuss the project’s motivations and methods.

The map displays the acute inequalities embedded in the social and political landscape of the United States. This pandemic is not simply biological. It is a symptom of an illness in our body politic. As SARS-CoV-2 roars across the country, it is following the fault lines of social vulnerability.

Gregg Gonsalves, Assistant Professor, Yale School of Public Health
Laura Kurgan, Professor of Architecture, GSAPP and Director Center for Spatial Research
Dare Brawley (‘20 MS.UP), Assistant Director, Center for Spatial Research, Columbia University
Jia Zhang, Mellon Associate Research Scholar, Columbia Center for Spatial Research
Suzan Iloglu, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale School of Public Health
Thomas Thornhill, Research Assistant, Yale School of Public Health

Panel Two: Research on a New Politics of Care
Over the summer of 2020, graduate researchers at the CSR investigated patterns in the distribution of COVID-19 while critically questioning the role of mapping and data visualization in understanding the pandemic. The research sought to match the COVID-19 count data at the county level with various other datasets to spatially explore patterns and trends in the spread of the virus across multiple scales.

While some projects prioritized an expansive approach to policymaking and the distribution of key resources according to vulnerability, others zoomed into particular clusters of outbreaks in meatpacking plants and Native American reservations to elucidate long-standing vulnerabilities that have been exacerbated by COVD-19.

The outcomes of the work, Research Towards a New Politics of Care, demonstrate a wide variety of formats, each engaging a unique representation strategy that incorporates diagrams, maps, videos, and interactive data visualizations.

Caitlin Blanchfield, Ph.D Candidate in Architecture
Nelson de Jesus Ubri, '21 M.Arch/ '22 MS.RED
Spenser A. Krut, '22 M.Arch/MS.CCCP
Nadine Fattaleh, '21 MS.CCCP
Adeline Chum, '22 M.Arch
Adam Vosburgh, '22 M.Arch

The second session, Climate Justice and the City, is scheduled for Friday, November 20.