Rethinking Streets for Physical Distancing

Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon



Reallocating space on streets to accommodate new uses – particularly for walking, biking, and being – is not new. However, COVID-era needs have accelerated the process that many communities use to make such street transitions. A few overlapping phenomena quickly became clear during the early days of COVID: a need to remain physically distanced from others outside our immediate household; a need for more outdoor space close to home in every part of every community to access and enjoy; a need for more space to provide efficient mobility for essential workers in particular; and a need for more space for local businesses as they try to remain open safely.

"Rethinking Streets During COVID-19" constitutes an evidence-based guide to 25 quick redesigns for physical distancing, public use, and spatial equity.

This project is the third in a series of NITC-supported projects to investigate and document best practices in street reconfigurations for more active, sustainable, and in this case, COVID-supportive uses. The two previous projects are:

Rethinking Streets: An Evidence Based Design Manual on Making Streets into Complete Streets (2013)

From Knowledge to Practice: Rethinking Streets for People on Bikes (2019)

Photo by RoamingPanda/iStock

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
January 31,2021
UTC Grant Cycle:
NITC 16 Round 3
UTC Funding: