Cities and regions pull together to combat COVID-19

Many cities and regions around the world are actively searching for the best possible response in the face of the current COVID-19 crisis. We can all learn from the approaches that are adopted elsewhere – in Europe and the world -, whether they consist of measures to curb the spread of the virus, financial support for businesses or maintaining the social viability of cities.

Policies are mainly coordinated on the national level. There are plenty of practical questions, however, that need answering so it is always useful to study the preferred strategies for implementation in an urban setting.

Networks of cities and regions such as Eurocities, Metropolis or the Assembly of European Regions soon recognised that there was a need for information. They responded by organising videoconferences and setting up platforms for sharing information about the pandemic, including best practices. At the same time, cities and regions are gradually starting to think about an exit strategy to return to (a new) normal, without a resurgence in transmission.

The Brussels-Capital Region participated in this collective effort, sharing its own initiatives as well as exchanging ideas directly with several other cities and regions that are actively combating this pandemic.

Interesting local projects include, among others, the website developed by the City of Ankara to enable capital cities around the world to share their experiences and join forces as well as the video to raise young people’s awareness about the risks associated with COVID-19, by the Senate Chancellery of the federal state of Berlin (with kind support by the Fondation Luftbrückendank).