CDC map of COVID-19 Cases

Coronavirus and Cities

As you can imagine, we are now ensconced in our homes in New York City. We are fine, even though the numbers surrounding us are alarming. The street bare empty and quiet. The food stores are full. We go out every day for a walk, sometimes to the Hudson, sometimes to the East River, with masks and gloves, keeping safe distance from the occasional other. Whole Foods now opens for a special hour from 7:00am to 8:00 for seniors and once a week we go there at 7:00am. We do a lot of cooking, sometimes elevating dinners to gourmet level. We Zoom a lot with friends and family and colleagues. We even Zoom with Lucy’s yoga teacher twice a week. And we listen every day at 11:30 to Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of our state, who creates a stark contrast with the bumbling idiot in the White House.

As for working from home, we have been trying to figure out why some cities — in this case U.S. metropolitan areas — have more confirms cases and more deaths from the Coronavirus than others. We have drafted the first paper on the subject, titled “The Coronavirus and the Cities: Explaining Variations in U.S. Metropolitan Areas as of 27 March 2020”. We plan to revise the paper regularly as new data comes in. We also plan to bring in more data on the cities to see if we can improve the explanation, e.g. the day each city adopted lock-downs, the number of workers still out working in every city, etc.

The working paper can be found at:

Schlomo ‘Solly’ Angel is a world renowned urbanist and author of countless books including “Atlas of Urban Expansion”, “Planet of Cities” and “Tale of Scale.” He is adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) and senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, where he leads the Urban Expansion initiative. He has advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).