How the pandemic has changed our cities

Twin Cities skylines
The St. Paul skyline, taken June 2008 (top) and the Minneapolis skyline, taken in July 2008
City of St. Paul, Creative Commons | Bobak Ha'Eri, Creative Commons

When COVID-19 forced stay-at-home orders and the beginning of remote work in early 2020, pundits and journalists predicted that the pandemic could dramatically change city life. They worried about an exodus to the suburbs and exurbs, the end of public transit and downtowns becoming obsolete. 

City life has certainly not ended, as some had feared. But the pandemic is changing the way our cities look and operate. Remote work has changed commute patterns and raised questions about how we use downtown spaces. Cities around the world have expanded pedestrian spaces and outdoor dining. 

MPR News host Angela Davis explores how the pandemic has redesigned our cities and whether those changes are here to stay. 


  • Bill Lindeke is an urban geographer and columnist at MinnPost

  • Fernando Burga is an assistant professor in Urban Planning at the University of Minnesota

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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