A spatial analysis of COVID-19 risk and recovery in Canadian cities

Photo by Byron V.

Which neighbourhoods in Canadian cities are most vulnerable to COVID-19 spread, and which neighbourhoods have the built-environment and socioeconomic resources to best implement social distancing and sheltering in place in the long period of recovery? This project applies urban spatial analysis methodologies to produce neighbourhood-scaled analyses of 1) COVID-19 transmission risk, and 2) opportunities and threats to social-distance-based recovery policies in Canadian cities. Travel-based transmission risk is measured through a network analysis of a unique dataset of millions of journeys through Airbnb originating or arriving in Canadian neighbourhoods. Community transmission risk, as well as opportunities and threats to social-distance-based recovery policies, are measured through dissemination-area-level demographic and built-environment characteristics. The results will be synthesized into risk profiles for Canadian neighbourhoods, and an inventory of built-environment interventions which policymakers should consider implementing to improve the prospects for travel restrictions and social distancing to be effective in the months ahead.

David Wachsmuth
Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance

My research interests include urban governance, local sustainability, and the impact of short-term rentals on housing markets.