Adaptability of Public Spaces and Mental Health Inequalities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Public spaces (e.g., streets and squares) are hubs of different types of activities (e.g., shopping, sitting, eating, walking, and resting) and have potential for improving mental health. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many streets and squares emptied from activities and people due to city lockdowns, and governments imposed restrictions on people’s behaviour. These changes affected the ability of public spaces to attract people and offer mental health benefits. The changes in how people have so far used public spaces during the pandemic have underlined the importance of adaptability and resilience of public spaces against pressures, such as the pandemic. This commentary aims to discuss the importance of adaptability of public spaces for reducing mental health inequalities during the pandemic. It outlines some possible solution and suggests further research on this issue in cities.

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Built environment (housing, transport, urban planning), Mental health, addiction
United Kingdom

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