Home Silk Road is about developing an inclusive city through experimenting with innovative temporary housing, cultural and economic activities in an industrial neighbourhood of Villeurbanne that is being redeveloped into a new housing district. The project has turned the site into a hub for culture, inclusion, and the social economy, involving families living in temporary shelter on-site, residents and other inhabitants of Villeurbanne and the Metropole of Lyon.
The 5th wave of the COVID19 pandemic has now passed its peak in France. Restrictive measures are currently being relaxed. It seems like a good moment to look back on the impact of the pandemic on Home Silk Road so far. Home Silk Road started one year before COVID19 was first identified in November 2019. It has had a considerable effect: accentuating existing challenges, presented new ones and demanding flexibility and creative solutions.
It is difficult to overstate the impact of the public health crisis caused by COVID19. It continues to affect society in a myriad of complex and ways. The full impact is still unfolding, and the next phase of the virus’ development remains difficult to predict. The virus and the measures brought in to control it have many implications for sustainable urban development, and for urban innovation. There are probably many shared challenges amongst UIA projects resulting from COVID19. Capturing the experience of this project can hopefully generate some learning for future innovative urban initiatives.