Introduction from the Editors
Facing the new normal in a Post-Crisis and Post- Pandemic Cities
Author: Prof. Dr. Besnik Aliaj, Dr. Rudina Toto, Dr.Valerio Perna
Affiliation: POLIS University
During the year 2020-22, millions of people around the world had to quarantine, self-isolate, and apply physical and social distancing. Our lives, our family and work have drastically shifted into what many are increasingly calling the “new normal”. People work, study, shop and even get health advice remotely. Yet, not everyone enjoys suitable spaces for conducting virtual lives. While much of the public attention has been given to medical experts and government guidelines; de facto, it is clear that the way we have designed and planned so far our homes and cities has been shaping how we were facing the pandemic at an individual and social level. The web reports and scholar articles on the role of architecture and urban design and planning on the post- pandemic life and city are thriving daily. Indeed, there are so many fundamental questions to raise on the societal response in the post-pandemic city. Meantime, several strong earthquakes hit capital region of Albania leaving behind thousands of destroyed houses and tens of human victims. The incidence of flooding and fires has been doubled and tripled due to climate change. The global economic crisis and the logic of stabilocracy has worsened the situation. On the top of such general instability stay the events of last pandemic crisis and a desperate need for resilient actions.
•See World Health Organisation (https:/www.who. int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1) and the following sites (1) https:/ourworldindata.org/policy-responses-covid and (2) https:/www.bsg. ox.ac.uk/research/research-projects/coronavirus- government-response-tracker on information and data on the countries policy and social response towards COVID-19 pandemic. The US Cigna survey found that 79 percent of Generation Z and 71 percent of millennials are lonely versus 50 percent of boomers. The data is definitely worrying compared to the average 47 percent of the 2018 and with the fact that the increasing factor was found equally divided among different age groups. (source: “Social Isolation and Health, ” Health Affairs Health Policy Brief, June 22, 2020. DOI: 10.1377/ hpb20200622.253235)
• Using a literary gimmick, the term was mutuated from Robert A. Heinlein’s novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, with a character telling lunar colonists: «[...] I hope you will comply willingly; it will speed the day when I can bow out and life can get back to normal — a new normal, free of the Authority, free of guards, free of troops stationed on us, free of passports and searches and arbitrary arrests». Heinlein, R.A. (1966) The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
• Vincent Ostrom wrote on polycentric governance in his seminal work Ostrom, V. (1972). Polycentricity. [Online] APSA Available at: http:/hdl.handle. net/10535/3763 [Accessed 9 May 2018]. See also: Ostrom, V., Tiebout, C.M. & Warren, R. (1961). The organization of government in metropolitan areas: Theoretical Inquiry. The American Political Science Review, 55(4), pp.831-42. Elinor Ostrom investigated the concept of polycentricity in her fundamental research of the commons. See also Foster, S. R. and Iaione, C. (2016). The City as a Commons. Yale Law and Policy Review, 34 (2), pp. 280-349; and Iaione, C. (2016). The CO-City: Sharing, Collaborating, Cooperating, and Commoning in the City. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 75 (2), pp. 415-455. DOI: 10.1111/ajes.12145. •Baudrillard, J. (1978), The Agony of Power, Cambridge MA: the MIT Press.
• Weber, M. (1920), Gesammelte politische Schriften • Hall, E.T. (1966), The Hidden Dimension, New York: Anchor City
• Schön, D. (1973). Beyond the stable state; W. W. Norton & Company; 1st Edition 1973; ISBN: 978- 0393006858;
•Mäler, K.-G. (2008). Sustainable Development and Resilience in Ecosystems. Environmental Resource Economics, 39, pp.17-24; Armitage, D. (2008). Governance and the commons in a multi- level world. International Journal of the Commons, 2, pp.7-32; Perrings, C. (2006). Resilience and Sustainable Development. Environment and Development Economics, 11, pp.417-27.