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High-rise living, public space and COVID-19 in the Greater Toronto Area

High-rise living, public space and COVID-19 in the Greater Toronto Area

Project Investigator: Ute Lehrer

Funding: SSHRC Insight Grant

Term: 2022-2025

High-rise buildings have long been a significant form in urban development. But this form of living comes with its own challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic of the last two years has magnified some of the problems for life in close proximity. While a large body of work has emerged that seeks to understand the implications of verticality for urban living, very little has been said about the role of shared amenity spaces in high-rise buildings. There is an urgent need to systematically analyze the lived experience of high-rise residents and explore interventions in urban planning and building management that can improve vertical living. The aim of this research project is to examine high-rise living in the years before and during a period of crisis and how shared space has been used and altered in high-rise buildings. Throughout the pandemic, public space has been spotlighted as an important part of urban everyday life: (a) as a physical space where inhabitants have had to implement safe distance between one another; and (b) as an important social space where new ways of coming together have gradually taken shape.