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The COVID19 Pandemic: Impact on Thinking and Practice in some Key Sectors

The Bridge at Hughes Hall presents a series of four online panel and audience discussions.

This second event forms part of the Global Health theme and series of seminars at Hughes Hall.  The COVID 19 pandemic has wide-ranging implications for how we design, manage and use our built environment and infrastructure. This panel will focus specifically on two key and interconnected aspects of ongoing change processes, namely decentralisation and resilience. On the one hand, the resilience of critical infrastructures and services has been challenged by staff shortages, increased demand and the weakening of global supply chains. On the other, “working from home” is becoming the norm for many resulting in an ‘exodus’ from densely populated city centres to leafy suburbs and rural villages, and potentially a radical spatial reorganisation of patterns of economic activity and demand for infrastructure and services.

Reflecting on the implications of such changes, the panel will discuss the following questions:

  • How can national infrastructure systems cope with the repercussions of the COVID 19 pandemic?
  • What can we learn from people’s, governments’ and businesses’ response to the pandemic to facilitate a move towards smarter and more sustainable cities?
  • How will the growth of telemedicine following the pandemic have implication for service delivery and the construction of hospitals?


  • Professor Michael Barrett, Judge Business School
  • Professor Ian Hodge, Department of Land Economy
  • Dr Timea Nochta, Department of Engineering
  • Dr Ajith Parlikad, Department of Engineering
  • Dr Karl Prince, Digital Innovation, Hughes Hall

The format will be a moderated panel discussion (30 minutes) where each panellist will introduce a question or sub-theme with a short address to which other panellists can respond with questions and comments that provide further insights. After the panel discussion, all people attending will join one of a range of breakout room with one of the panellists for further discussion (20 minutes) on their sub-theme. In the final plenary session, the outcome of the discussions in each breakout group will be shared to identify where intersections and opportunities for future research or impact may exist.

This event is open to all, whether or not you are a member of Hughes Hall.
A recording of this event is now available. Click here