Mayors' Institute on City Design

Resources for cities responding to the COVID-19 crisis

As cities grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, know that we’re thinking of all the mayors, city staff, and community members on the front lines. Below, we’ve compiled upcoming webinars and other resources that we hope will be useful to you.

We’d be honored to share any additional resources that are helpful to your cities, organizations and firms during this challenging time. Please send them our way at


The below webinars will cover the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on a variety of topics we often address at MICD, from transportation to public space.

Rebalancing Streets for People (Recording)
Toole Design
Essential techniques for quickly rebalancing streets to create more safe places for people to walk, bike, and run while maintaining a safe physical distance from each other

Transportation & COVID-19 – Practices from other disease outbreaks (Recording)
Transportation Research Board (TRB)
How can the transportation industry deal with and manage the COVID-19 outbreak? Presenters discussed their experience with other outbreaks and what their agencies are doing to adapt and mitigate risks, as well as to enhance the resiliency of our transportation systems in the future.

Landscape Architecture Practice in a Time of Physical Distancing (Recording)
Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF)
A candid conversation with three landscape architecture principals about the changes they’re seeing and the longer-term impacts they anticipate for the field of landscape architecture

Park Leaders and COVID-19: Serving the Community in Challenging Times (Recording)
City Parks Alliance
Panel discussion of park professionals who are adapting their facilities, programming, and messaging in creative ways to help residents maintain physical and mental wellness 


Here are some of the many resources other organizations have published to help cities navigate the COVID-19 crisis, as well as a few articles we find especially useful about the plethora of issues always on the minds of mayors and design/development professionals.

COVID-19: What Mayors Need to Know
United States Conference of Mayors

Operational best practices, examples of city guidelines, and other critical updates for city leaders

COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations
National Endowment for the Arts
News and resources for arts organizations, from loan guidance to navigating postponements and cancellations

Coronavirus Local Response Initiative
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Open to all U.S. mayors; receive up-to-date information on the virus and coaching on crisis leadership and communications

COVID-19: Transportation Response Center
Rapid response tools, real-time forums, information about federal funding assistance, and more

Role of Architecture in Fighting COVID-19
MASS Design
Best practices for using design to promote infection control, from floor layouts to the choice of materials to air circulation

Planning During a Pandemic: 6 Resources for Planners
American Planning Association
Resources to help city planners adjust to a different way of working, gathering, and communicating

How Transit Agencies are Responding to the COVID-19 Public Health Threat
Roundup of how U.S. transit agencies are approaching short-term and long-term challenges

What Cities are Doing to Stall Evictions and Foreclosures
How city leaders are halting evictions, utility shut-offs, foreclosures during the crisis

In the Age of Social Distancing, Government Meetings Go Virtual
Route Fifty
A look at how nimble governments are holding public meetings online

Maintaining Business Continuity with a Remote Workforce
Architect Magazine
Tools and best practices for design firms transitioning to remote operations

Maps, datasets, and applications to help cities and organizations respond to COVID-19

2020 Census Adapting Quickly to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Eleven million U.S. households have already responded to the 2020 Census questionnaire already, and operations continue.

Design in the Age of Pandemics
A historical look at how the threat of disease has shaped the built environment

Other Interesting Finds

What the Future Looked Like Before the Coronavirus
MICD’s January survey of how mayors design professionals view the coming decade, reminding us of long-terms trends and goals that will inform cities’ recovery 

How to get your art and design fix from your couch
Fast Company
From virtual museum tours to podcasts, ways to engage with art and design from home

We are physically distant, but still in this together
How cities in the Bay Area and beyond will survive the coronavirus

Among many things the COVID-19 crisis has brought to the forefront, it has made clear our innate need to connect with other human beings. We’re heartened to see the many unexpected ways this is carrying out in our urban spaces, from balcony concerts to a resurgence of drive-in theaters to social-distancing dance parties. Remember that we’re still in this together.


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