A review of COVID-19: Implications for Canadian cities to enhance well-being and resilience

Patricia Macneil, Kam Jugdev, Anshuman Khare

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Among the many detrimental impacts of COVID-19 is diminished well-being. The dimensions of well-being extend beyond a person or household because well-being also pertains to interconnections with society. Canadian cities have been especially hard hit by the pandemic and sustained the brunt of the fallout, but they will recover. The pandemic has heightened awareness of the need for improved urban planning and design for citizen well-being. This paper presents a scoping literature review (2020–1) to portray the impacts and learnings of COVID-19 on cities. The review discusses the impacts the pandemic has had on health and well-being and highlights, for example, the unique vulnerabilities of younger age groups. The findings from the literature review discuss how cities, centres of growth and vibrancy, can improve well-being and resilience. The areas of improvement are categorised in terms of buildings, transport and mobility, green spaces and open areas, and new and expanded digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI).Then, the recommendations outline proactive governance strategies such as making well-being a strategic priority, meaningful and inclusive citizen engagement and multisectoral collaboration, agile governance and leveraging best practices. The innovations and responsive approaches demonstrated by cities during the pandemic can be redeployed post-pandemic via partnerships to develop sustainable and resilient recovery plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-248
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec. 2023


  • COVID-19
  • built environment
  • cities
  • green spaces
  • health and well-being
  • local governance and municipalities
  • urban


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