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The Impact of COVID-19 on Urban Form and Governance: Early Experiences from the City of Cape Town


Year published: 2022
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91112-6_27

Author / Authors:

  • Daniël J. du Plessis


First Online: 04 May 2022
Part of the Local and Urban Governance book series (LUG)


The impact of COVID-19 has potentially far-reaching long-term consequences for the physical structure and governance of cities, requiring appropriate responses tailored to local circumstances. The important triggers of urban change affected by COVID-19 include changes to demographic structure and social interaction patterns in cities, economic and technological triggers influencing land use patterns, governance and infrastructure provision responses and ecological considerations. This chapter seeks to analyse the short-term manifestation of these urban changes and the nature of the urban governance responses in the City of Cape Town in South Africa. The early experience of the City of Cape Town indicates that many of the identified trends pre-existed prior to COVID-19 but have been accelerated by the pandemic and associated response measures. At this stage, the permanency and lifespan of these trends, and whether there will be a partial return to pre-COVID conditions remain unclear. In cities with high levels of inequalities, such as Cape Town, changes to urban structure and function resulting from COVID-19 are complex and manifest in differentiated forms and expressions in diverse localities and urban sub-systems.

Cite this chapter
du Plessis, D.J. (2022). The Impact of COVID-19 on Urban Form and Governance: Early Experiences from the City of Cape Town. In: Nunes Silva, C. (eds) Local Government and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Local and Urban Governance. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91112-6_27


  • Book Chapter