Carnegie Mellon University

Center for the Arts in Society

Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Fine Arts


Cities in the time of Covid-19: Reflecting on the nature of crisis and everyday risk in the South Asian City

CAS Speakers Series

Nausheen H. Anwar

Monday, March 8, 2021 at 8:00am on Zoom

Covid-19 has brought containment, lockdowns, livelihood dislocations and death to vulnerable populations in South Asian cities. Reflecting on the pandemic and its impacts on Pakistan's largest metropolis Karachi, I consider how forced displacement under the Covid-19 pandemic also relates to ongoing crises wrought on by overlapping challenges of urban flooding, heatwaves, infrastructural breakdowns, and a violent urban planning regime. Covid is both there and not there; it forges ahead and recedes in different temporal moments and spatial contexts. Prior logics of urbanization and urban governance are reiterated under the pandemic and become intensified, creating, and compounding risks and insecurities. In these intense specificities and shifting temporal moments, ordinary people struggle to make sense of crises of varying intensities. The risk that people face is not only of the pandemic, but also other kinds of risks wrought on by atmospheric shifts and infrastructural breakdowns.

Nausheen H. Anwar is Director, Karachi Urban Lab & Professor of City & Regional Planning, in the School of Economics & Social Sciences (SESS), Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. She received her PhD from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), Columbia University, USA. Nausheen’s work focuses on the politics of urban planning, climate change and infrastructural development in the Global South. 

This event is part of the Spaces of Containment and Care Project.

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