I’ve lived in New York City off and on since I moved here for grad school in 2005. From the bars and restaurants to the 24-hour subway and Central Park, the city has always enthralled and inspired me. Even its downsides – the smells, the nonstop traffic and noise, pizza rats – have become reasons for loving the city all the more, like the way a partner’s most annoying habits grow oddly endearing.

That’s why it was startling to see NYC brought to a standstill last spring when the pandemic struck. Even now, my favorite hangouts remain shuttered, and the subway that services the “city that never sleeps” closes at 1 a.m. At least Central Park remains open for weekend runs, albeit masked. Many like me, upon seeing their beloved cities imperiled by a virus that flourishes in density as much as we do, are wondering: Can the city survive COVID-19?

Reassuringly, the answer is “yes.” Or so believe urban experts John Rennie Short of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Michael Orlando of the University of Colorado, Denver, who have weighed in on what the post-pandemic future holds for cities.

Also today:

Bryan Keogh

Senior Editor, Economy + Business

Cities are breeding grounds for creativity – and infectious diseases. Salvator Barki/Moment via Getty Images

Why COVID-19 won’t kill cities

John Rennie Short, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Michael J. Orlando, University of Colorado Denver

Two scholars of cities explain why dense, urban areas will survive – and thrive – long after the pandemic ends, and even if they don't get a bailout.

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