We are currently passing through the most critical global health and socio-economic crisis of the century, which has transformed the way we live, work, travel and socialize. The world’s cities are generally taking measurements to content the virus and its adverse effects reacting quickly to this urban humanitarian crisis to protect their population. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic is also presenting us with an opportunity to learn from the different measures taken, share experiences and together built more resilient societies.
UN-Habitat is supporting both national and local governments to help them prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. A response plan, key messages and guidelines had been developed to support regional and country-level action in regard, cities, housing, informal settlements, public spaces, urban transport and mobility, water, sanitation, hygiene, gender and social inclusion. Moreover, UN-Habitat is leveraging networks of partners on the ground, bringing together mayors, governors, transport and utilities providers, urban NGOs, women’s and youth groups, and slum-dweller community organizations.
COVID-19 is a wake-up call to apply what we had learned over the years about urban and territorial planning, which has developed into a multisectoral discipline. It is now commonplace to consider environmental, social, health and well-being as key determinants when planning cities.
China has good and efficient systems in place to fight against epidemics. China has set in place strict containment measurements which have been proved to reduce the spread of the disease, managed to reduce the public health crisis and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presented Guidance Papers summarize specific measures for infection prevention and control of the disease from Wuhan experience. The Wuhan Guidance Papers for COVID-19 control provide evidence-based strategies that could be replicated in other countries. These papers are the latest result of the close and longstanding collaboration between UN-Habitat and Wuhan. We encourage you to make use of this papers, learn from the experiences so that together we can fight and control the health and economic crisis and, in the end, improve our urban environment, our health and well-being through the realization New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, so that we can build back better and leave no one and no place behind.