Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Public Spaces through a Systems Modelling Approach

Even though we have had already a few publications out of our Urban Design and Town Planning in response to COVID-19 project, I realised I failed to publish here about this one. This paper came out a while ago in the Special Issue 2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Full paper available here, and the abstract is below

This paper offers a Human Factors and Ergonomic & Sociotechnical Systems (HFE & STS) methodology to assist in the exploration and description of COVID-19 lockdown impacts on public spaces in Queensland, Australia. The approach utilises an existing – before COVID – systems model of an archetype public space to identify activities that were restricted in public space, and how such restrictions affect system performance. First an overview of the HFE & STS system modelling approach, Cognitive Work Analysis, is provided and we present the systems model of an archetype public space. Next, the range of lockdown restrictions on public space activity are identified in the model and the system’s implications on community and individual wellbeing are explored. In conclusion, the necessity for new activities and functions of public space, post COVID-19, are reflected upon and considered from a systems standpoint.

Heading photo by Nick Stevens

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