Upali Nanda, an associate professor of practice in architecture, was interviewed in O Globo recently about COVID-19’s effects on cities. Based in Rio de Janeiro, O Globo is considered one of Brazil’s most prominent newspapers.
In the article, Nanda said that a healthier model for cities would help mitigate the effects of current and future pandemics. She talked about how the housing market, corporate spaces, and the transportation sector should adapt.
Like the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks forever altered people’s sense of security, Nanda argued in the article that the COVID-19 pandemic is a watershed moment: “This awareness that ‘I am directly responsible for the health of my neighbors, my colleagues, and my friends’ is a profound change in thinking,” she said. “A greater sense of community will define the design of cities, especially since we are realizing that if our cities were healthier, we would suffer less now. Our people would also be healthier.”
Nanda is director of research for HKS Inc., a global architectural firm. She also serves as the executive director of the nonprofit Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation. Her research has been awarded the European Healthcare Design Research Award and two Environmental Design Research Association CORE awards. Nanda previously was recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Design by Healthcare Design Magazine. She also received the 2018 Women in Architecture Innovator Award from Architectural Record.