Docherty I, Marsden G, Anable J & Forth T (2021) Mobility during and after the pandemic. In: Bryson JR, Andres L, Ersoy A & Reardon L (eds.) Living with Pandemics: Places, People and Policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 184-194. https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/living-with-pandemics-9781800373587.html
9 months since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, it is startling to reflect on the profound changes to all aspects of daily life which have been necessary. Public policy has responded at a pace not seen for decades, and the general public has accepted restrictions to freedoms and changes to their everyday activities beyond what was thought acceptable before the pandemic. There have, of course, been hugely negative impacts of some of these changes to livelihoods, education and the mental and physical health and well-being for some. However, many of the adaptations we have seen in working and other practices such have shopping have shown the pandemic as an accelerant of trends that were already established.
These changes have potentially profound effects on how we move about in the future and even where we live and work. This chapter critically reviews some of the big policy questions which we face as the prospect of an effective vaccine and planning for after the pandemic takes centre stage. Should we design for a morning peak or design out a morning peak? Should we encourage or challenge the flight to the suburbs and beyond? Can we maintain the momentum for reallocating space for people rather than vehicles which was brought into such sharp relief at the start of the crisis? All of these debates exist in the shadows of the climate crisis which points us in one direction. Whether they remain strong enough to withstand the calls to ‘get the economy moving’ remains to be seen.
Covid-19; Transport; mobility; commuting; travel demand