The pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color reminded us once again that “We are not in this together.” Safely restarting the economy was inextricably tied to rethinking every aspect of our designed environment, from homes to schools, workplaces, health care, hotels, streets, and parks. This chapter builds on the Culturally Enriched Communities framework to use design and create communities where everyone can thrive by sharing the story behind the COVID-19 page at www.cec-design.com/covid-19. The website was launched in January 2020 to more effectively disseminate best practices in environmental interventions that can contribute to the elimination of health, income, and educational disparities to elected officials, planners, affordable housing providers, designers, educators, advocates, and beyond. During the pandemic, we pulled information on environmental interventions from around the world into one centralized place. First, the authors collected design solutions that ranged from how front yards and sidewalks could be used to interior modifications for homes, workplaces, health care, retail, parks, and long-term care facilities. Second, they included resources on vulnerable populations that could benefit from designers’, educators’, and scholars’ attention. More than 25 groups are noted, ranging from communities of color to children with special needs, refugees, victims of domestic violence, slum dwellers, and Indigenous tribes. Third are research studies and educational initiatives that tackle issues related to the pandemic. The discussion elaborates on the challenges encountered and lessons learned, such as broadening forms of dissemination, securing funding support, and establishing the relevance of environmental design research to health and well-being.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 selection and editorial matter, AnnaMarie Bliss and Dak Kopec; individual chapters, the contributors.