Letter from the Editors
BY ASHER KAPLAN & JIAE AZAD
September 21, 2020
Students of urban planning know there is always something more to consider, and this summer we’ve been busy. As we navigate new systems in school and at work, we are also keeping a close eye on the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered or accelerated transformations to the built environment. New plans are being made and old ones are being modified to accommodate life under pandemic conditions. While ‘social distancing’ restrictions may come and go, planning and architectural interventions will persist, suggesting that we may soon enter an era explicitly designed to facilitate isolation. In flux and under lockdown, it’s hard to see what’s next; fortunately, planning’s interdisciplinary nature offers a particularly fruitful lens to read, interpret, and intervene in the future being written today.
Though we are students of urban planning, we are also people who are students of urban planning. For our first mini-issue, we chose the title ‘Distance’ to describe the quality of our lives today, and to gesture toward a new set of concerns emerging in the planning and design fields. The four short pieces in this issue are reflections of the uncertainty of this moment, views on isolation, protest, and planning that offer a window into the lives of a group of students who, shortly after meeting, found ourselves abruptly scattered across the map, left to grapple with questions both large and small about what it means to live in a city.
Take inspiration in reading,
Jiae Azad, MUP ‘21 & Asher Kaplan, MUP ‘21