Austrian Scientists & Scholars
in North America

Month: November 2020

COVID-19 Infection Externalities and Public Health Strategies: Pursuing Herd Immunity or Containment?

Should we let individuals decide how much social distancing to engage in, or are there good reasons why governments should infringe upon civil liberties and order citizens to stay at home? In our latest paper, we show that infectious diseases such as COVID-19 lead to significant externalities, i.e. adverse effects that individuals do not internalize when they engage in their personal cost-benefit analysis. Moreover, if society internalizes these effects by imposing appropriate public health measures, it becomes optimal to pursue a policy of containment rather than letting the disease spread until herd immunity is acquired.

The Future of Cities in a Post-Pandemic World

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted how we live, work, play, and move around our cities and communities. Additionally, it has changed how planners think about and prepare for the future, while navigating uncertainty. Over the last months, APA has developed a foresight approach that emphasizes the idea of “learning with the future” to help planners navigate change and prepare for future uncertainties. In this presentation, Petra will explain APA’s foresight approach and how it has been applied in times of COVID-19, she will present examples of how cities might change due to COVID-19, and how this accelerating pace of change may impact the planning profession.