In the (Dutch) opinion article, board member and associate professor of Urban Regeneration at the TU Delft Reinout Kleinhans discusses the relation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing social-economic inequality, segregation and elite-driven urban developments in the US and in Europe. According to Kleinhans, COVID-19 contributes to the issues of structural poverty, income segregation and criminality. Moreover, it places an increasing focus on institutional racism which refers to the ineffectiveness of the American police to deal with diversity and the elite-driven urban economic development which consequently excludes African Americans.
Also in Europe, globalization, fundamental changes in the economic structure and the labour market, neoliberal politics and shrinking investments in the social housing sector contributes to an increasing segregation process between rich and poor. Segregation, Kleinhans argues, is also a form of institutional racism which can have disastrous effects in combination with COVID-19. The effects will be seen in the long-term caused by the huge government investments in companies and employment measures instead of education, housing and security. Additionally, the educational disadvantage of children coming from under privileged families will enhance segregation in the long term. Kleinhans therefore calls for a different economic approach to use the current momentum and debates to do things differently.
Read the full article (in Dutch) here