Cities and Urbanization

How COVID-19 could make our cities doughnut-shaped

A man wearing a protective face mask in Oxford street during rush hour as the spread of the coronavirus disease.

In London, visitors to retail and recreation spaces fell by up to 76.7% during the hight of the pandemic. Image: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Paul J. Maginn
Associate Professor of Urban/Regional Planning, University of Western Australia
Philip Hubbard
Professor of Urban Studies, King's College London
Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Cities and Urbanization is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Cities and Urbanization

Have you read?
Retail Trends (Non-seasonally Adjusted) Dec 2006 - October 2020 (Log Scale).
Internet sales are on the rise. Image: Dr Paul. J. Maginn (UWA, Perth, Australia) Source: ONS
Retail/Recreation Visitors, London (15 Feb - 24 Nov)
The pandemic caused a major drop in visitors to Manchester's retail and recreation centres. Image: Dr Paul. J. Maginn (UWA, Perth, Australia) Source: ONS
Image: Dr Paul. J. Maginn (UWA, Perth, Australia) Source: ONS
London Retail/Recreation Overall Ave. % Change in Visitors (Feb-Nov 2020)
London's inner-boroughs have seen the biggest drop off of retail activity, whilst the suburbs remain less effected. Image: Dr Paul. J. Maginn (UWA, Perth, Australia) Source: ONS
Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street.
Topshop's, who are part of the arcadia group, flagship store on the street is at risk of closure. Image: EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Cities and UrbanizationCOVID-19Pandemic Preparedness and Response
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

US parking in the spotlight and other city-focused stories you need to read now

Lisa Chamberlain and Jeff Merritt

May 24, 2023

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2023 World Economic Forum