COVID-19 & Cities Webinar Series

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on cities. To better understand these impacts and inform stakeholders and the general public, the Initiative on Cities has convened experts from Boston University and beyond for in-depth discussions.

COVID-19 & Cities: Supporting Aging Populations

On May 27, 2020, we hosted a webinar with the Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) to discuss the challenges and trends that aging populations face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how cities are responding. IOC Co-Director Katharine Lusk moderated and was joined by Bronwyn Keefe, Director of the BUSSW Center for Aging and Disability Education Research (CADER) and Research Assistant Professor at the BUSSW, and Antron Watson, Age-Friendly Director for AARP Massachusetts. Watch a recording here.

COVID-19 & Cities: Multilingual Learners & Families

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, we hosted a webinar with the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development to discuss the challenges of remote learning on multilingual learners and their families, and what’s being done to support them. Christine Leider, Clinical Assistant Professor Language Education & Program Director for Bilingual Education & TESOL Licensure at BU Wheelock; Rani Pan, K2 (Kindergarten) Inclusion Teacher at Mendell Elementary School (Boston Public Schools); Jocelyn Lee, Head of the Language Acquisition Department & Grade 5 ESL Teacher at Match Community Day Charter Public School and Part-Time Instructor at BU Wheelock; and Emily Blitz, English Learner Education Department Chair at Somerville High School, provided insight based on their experiences. Watch a recording here.

COVID-19 & Cities: Pollution & the Environment

On Wednesday, May 13th, 2020, we hosted a discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pollution and urban air quality. David Miller, Director of International Diplomacy at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and former Mayor of Toronto (2003-2010) and Lucy Hutyra, Associate Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University offered their insight into both the scientific understanding and policy implications of improved urban air quality during COVID-19. Read our recap and watch a recording.

COVID-19 & Cities: Municipal Fiscal Health

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, we hosted a discussion on the impact COVID-19 has had on municipal fiscal health and how it will continue to create financial challenges for cities. IOC Director Graham Wilson moderated a discussion featuring Christiana McFarland, Research Director at the National League of Cities, and Pam Kocher, President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. Read our recap and watch a recording.

After COVID-19 (Re)Building Resilient Cities

On Thursday, April 30th, 2020, we co-hosted a webinar with the Boston University School of Public Health (SPH) exploring the role cities play in supporting public health during COVID-19 and as we start to emerge from the pandemic. Part of SPH’s Coronavirus Seminar SeriesSandro Galea, Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at the School of Public Health, moderated a panel of speakers who provided context for the pandemic through the lens of contemporary public health issues. Galea was joined by Jennifer Keesmaat, CEO of The Keesmaat Group and former Chief Planner of Toronto, Katie Swenson, Senior Principal at Mass Design Group, Joan Saba, Partner at NBBJ, and the IOC’s own Katharine Lusk, Co-Director of the Initiative on Cities. Read our recap and watch a recording.

COVID-19 & Cities: How Are They Coping?

On Wednesday, April 15th, 2020, we hosted a webinar examining the effects that COVID-19 is having on cities bearing the brunt of the public health and economic crisis triggered by the global pandemic. IOC Director Graham Wilson was joined by Katherine Levine Einstein, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the IOC, and Bruce Katz, Founding Director of Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University and Distinguished Fellow at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. Read our recap and watch a recording.