The COVID-19 pandemic is emphasizing that housing densities in urban built environments present a significant health factor that can be potentially lethal. This is particularly the case in informal settlements that feature higher population densities, where the rapid spread of COVID-19 is quickly becoming a shared concern among research institutions and community organizations.
This summer, we used our data about housing density with public data about COVID-19 cases and deaths to identify hot spots and how those areas had grown over the past two decades. This map was used by the UNAS community organization to organize local relief efforts and plan future prevention efforts.
Upon closer look, we also found where housing densities relate to rental, and thus where rental relates to COVID-19 cases. Through this study we identified a typology of dense informal rental dwellings, but more critically we learned about the potential for sensitive densification to facilitate new overlaps between housing and new public programming (use).