Covid, Cities and Sustainability

Submission status
Submission deadline

Pandemic conditions have imposed a natural experiment upon global populations. The dramatic changes in societal interactions due to social distancing measures to control the spread of the virus disrupt normal routines and the ability to connect to the larger world as part of daily life. Cities are innovating and are embracing new strategies to safely maintain access to public space to provide a critical connection to the larger world. These changes are reshaping the landscape of cities by reducing pollution, supporting urban local food systems, spurring changes to local biodiversity and improving opportunities for multimodal transportation.

To understand the influence of changes in city policy and practice that facilitate access to nature and the outdoors in response to the pandemic, Biophilic Cities and its partners in the Biophilic Cities Network are undertaking research with two broad components.

The first aim will be to catalog and assess best practices that cities are utilizing during the time of the pandemic. Investigations will combine recent cell phone data with existing data to analyze which policies influence the ability of vulnerable populations to use urban green space during the time of the pandemic. The second aim is to examine how lessons learned from the current pandemic instruct cities as to their future planning and design, so that urban communities can maximize their resilience in response to future natural resource crises and pandemics.

This new themed Collection of npj Urban Sustainability will help us understand how cities are adapting to the Covid pandemic to enable them to be:

  • more resilient in the future, and
  • more sustainable as they respond to new opportunities created from the Covid-related economic disruption.
Four women with facemasks touching elbows as greeting


To submit your manuscript for consideration at npj Urban Sustainability as part of this Collection, please follow the steps detailed on this page. Once logged in you can submit your manuscript to a Collection by selecting the appropriate manuscript type and clicking “Continue”. Then when filling out the "Manuscript Information", select the "Covid, Cities and Sustainability" Collection from the "Subject Terms" tab. Please be sure to express your interest in the Collection in your cover letter. The deadline for submissions is 31st October 2022, though papers submitted after this date will be considered.  

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that any individual paper will be included in the desired collection. 

We welcome all types of content on this topic, including Article, Review, Perspective, Brief Communication, and Comment. Papers will be published in npj Urban Sustainability as soon as they are accepted and then collected together and promoted on the Collection homepage. Please direct any queries to Dr. Bo Liu, Executive Editor: