Webinar to explore how COVID-19 might change cities forever

Free event features director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research

An unprecedented campus closure means most Rice students are living and learning remotely. Rachel Kimbro's class is capturing student experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak for the Rice archives. (Photo by Brandon Martin)Will social distancing and physical barriers become a permanent part of life in big cities across the world? The director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research will discuss the short- and long-term changes we can expect during an upcoming free webinar.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Could Change Our Cities,” hosted by Rice’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies through its OpenRICE initiative, is scheduled for noon June 5. William Fulton will address pressing questions facing large cities, such as:

  • Will the work-from-home trend lead to more empty office space, and if so, what will happen to it?
  • Will home delivery service lead to more closed retail stores — and what will happen to those shopping centers?
  • What will happen to traffic and commuting patterns if more people work from home?

What:             Webinar, “How the COVID-19 Pandemic Could Change Our Cities.”

When:            Friday, June 5, noon CDT.

Who:              William Fulton, director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

Where:           Online via Zoom; register at https://riceuniversity.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GuFTGFVQTvOpeKcfcwbgmA.

Fulton is a former mayor of Ventura, California, and a former director of planning and economic development of San Diego. He is the author of six books, including “Guide to California Planning,” “The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles,” and “Talk City: A Chronicle Of Political Life In An All-American Town.”

Fulton serves as board chairman for MetroLab Network, a national network of research partnerships between cities and universities, and vice chairman of LINK Houston, a transportation equity advocacy group. He is also the publisher of the Kinder Institute’s Urban Edge blog.

“With its population, diversity and economy, Houston is a pacesetter for the rest of the country in many ways,” said Glasscock School Dean Robert Bruce. “Having Bill’s insight on what can be expected through and on the other side of this pandemic is equally intriguing and critical. Whether you are a concerned citizen, a business owner or hold a leadership position, this OpenRICE session should not be missed.”

About Avery Ruxer Franklin

Avery is a media relations specialist in the Office of Public Affairs.