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Streets' dynamic during Covid 19 period - How to improve business mood in an empty street

Updated: Feb 2, 2021


Bernardo Antunes, a student of the University of Beira Interior - UBI (Portugal) wrote this paper for the CSB Pilot Course, one of the main Output of the CSB Project.


With the huge traffic in the streets, the local market tends to increase too. And, like that, the city grows up while people learn about its history and patrimony. Nowadays, we are witnessing a scenario in which these streets, full of life and dynamics, are not as frequented as they used to be due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. No one was expecting this type of problem. We used to see things like this in movies and series, but we never thought it could happen to us. Now, besides trying to fight this worldwide disease, we need to learn to live with it. In this article I pretend to show how we can change this scenario by making the streets more dynamic and safer at the same time. I will show examples of places that have already done it and I’m going to show my own suggestion on how to make a street more dynamic. In this case, a specific street in Covilhã, the city where I’m currently living and studying Architecture at the Universidade da Beira Interior. Furthermore, I intend to start by talking about what we can change and add to the streets to make them more dynamic as well as the importance of green spaces and nature. To sum up, the objective of this work is to study and figure out how we can give more life to streets during this reality we live.


Due to all the care we have to take today, we've never spent so much time at home. Thanks to this new experience, we discovered things that we could change in our home and things that are missing. In general, we miss more natural light, better ventilation and, above all, more green spaces. Personally, I live in an apartment and, what was a balcony that I thought that had a comfortable size, became a small, unpleasant and, to a certain point, a claustrophobic one. The typical hall of the house that was so spacious, now needed even more space for a cleaning area at the entrance. That room in which his main function was rest, had now became a working office. And all those plants that my mother had scattered around the rooms that gave such a serene and natural environment to the house, now seemed few. I could spend this entire article talking about problems and criticizing my own home, but that is not the purpose.

We are watching a paradigm shift in the way we live and, as such, the place where we live easily becomes out of date.

This discomfort at home and this feeling of closeness led us to want to leave more than ever. A walk through the street or through nature has never been more valued. And so, we come to the main focus of this article. The walk down the street. Also on the street, we cannot act as before. Social distance is super important. We have to keep those boring 2 meters from the other people and always pay attention to the use of mask. With this, the streets became less and less filled, which took to the fall of countless businesses that depended on the urban movement of all people. The question then arises: What can Architects (in this case future Architects) do, to make the streets not only safer and more comfortable, but also more dynamic in order to increase the circulation of people?

Read here the full paper.

Bernardo Antunes - STREETS’ DYNAMIC DURI
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