November 18th, 2022 at ISEC Bengaluru
for Research in Urban Affairs(CRUA),
Institute for Social and Economic
Change, Bengaluru, India
and call for papers
(last date extended for abstract submission until 3rd September,
started off as a small local epidemic in early 2020 but became so widespread
globally that the WHO declared it as a pandemic in March 2020. Covid-19
spreads fast with increased density of people, so understandably cities have
been the most affected due to the crisis everywhere. While a lot of research
is ongoing on various effects of the pandemic, what is less addressed is the
fact whether the effects of Covid-19 are short run or long lasting. For
instance, Covid-19 led to lockdowns in many cities of the world including
Mumbai, Delhi, Manila, Shanghai, Sydney. In April 2020, a Barclays report
estimated that “the absolute economic loss was likely the largest from the
shutdown of Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Delhi and Mumbai, ranging from $1
billion-$1.7 billion per week.”
It is not
just the economy of these cities that have been adversely impacted, but also
livelihood and food security for many migrants in these cities. In some
cities, migrants lost their jobs and were food starved. They had no means of
transport, so they walked to their hometowns. In contrast, reports are that
housing became more affordable during the pandemic in the central parts of
cities as it reduced the need for accessing employment there. But Covid-19
may also have led to significant suburbanization and sprawl as many working
populations moved to cheaper locations while keeping their jobs in the
central part of cities. There is some evidence that Covid-19 led to work
from home (WFH) and work from anywhere (WFA) for the skilled labour force,
but the unskilled were the ones to be the worst affected as their jobs
(cooking, driving, domestic help, construction, and so on) cannot be done
from home. Some research also finds that the pandemic pushed the urban poor
further into poverty.
cities, Covid exposed the poor state of health care infrastructure there.
City governments everywhere have had to battle challenges to take on
additional responsibilities to cope with the pandemic—including testing,
contact tracing, and monitoring. Due to the need for distancing, Covid-19
and the consequent lockdowns have also accelerated the growth of gig work,
exemplified by food delivery, e-commerce, and even at-home beauty services.
Due to its
far-reaching ramifications, this one-day Golden Jubilee Conference of ISEC’s
Centre for Research in Urban Affairs, in hybrid mode, will deliberate on the
effect that Covid-19 has had on various aspects of the urban economy: urban
poverty, informal sector and unskilled and skilled labour force, housing,
and the gig economy. Below are the questions the one-day Conference proposes to
What is the effect of
Covid-19 on the urban economy and job opportunities?
How has Covid-19 impacted
the urban workforce in general?
How have the marginalized
and vulnerable been affected due to Covid-19?
Are the recoveries/deaths
due to Covid-19 dependent on the robustness of healthcare infrastructure
What are the effects of
Covid-19 on Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
infrastructure in cities?
Has the pandemic made
housing more affordable in urban areas?
Due to Work from Home (WFH)
and Work from Anywhere (WFA), has the pandemic made the urban
environment more sustainable at all?
What are the ongoing policy
responses of city governments to Covid and related challenges?
Are there any best
practices from which city governments can learn regarding the management
of future pandemics?
What is the effect of
Covid-19 on the gig economy and on-demand labour?
Are these phenomena
temporary or have they changed the landscape of our cities for good?
original, unpublished papers that address the above questions, or any other
research questions not mentioned, as they relate to the effect of Covid on
cities. We look forward to papers from all parts of the world. Only very
high-quality papers will be chosen to be presented at the one-day seminar.
We are in advanced negotiations with an international journal to publish
authors may send a 200-word abstract
covering the thematic area, research objectives, methodology, findings, and
the email address of the corresponding author to email@example.com by
September 3, 2022, 17:30 hours IST. Only
authors of shortlisted abstracts will be notified for submission of their
full papers by September 30th, 2022.