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Changing Rhythms During the Pandemic in Amsterdam Zuidoost

Research Publication | Designing Rhythms for Social Resilience, University of Amsterdam

Rhythms are part of many aspects of urban life. How do changes in rhythms affect people's daily experiences?

The cities are organised and characterised by the day and night, seasons, work/school days and weekends, holidays, weekly markets, rush hours, lunchtimes, and many more.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city rhythms were disturbed. For the spread of an airborne disease, the main characteristics of rhythms, bringing people together in space and time in different periodicities and durations, have been problematic. While the lockdown can be seen as an intervention in the city rhythms, it did not recognise the rhythmic quality of urban life. It demanded many daily activities to be on hold, spread out, scaled down and controlled, affecting family life, different forms of communities, public spaces and work and school environments, as well as the mobility and movement of people within neighbourhoods, cities, and countries. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic caused drastic social consequences, leaving many unemployed, increasing loneliness, and creating difficulties within households.

How did such changes in rhythms affect the daily experiences of people? Which rhythms are we talking about anyway when we mention this, and how can we study them? Perhaps the pandemic, the lockdown, and how the virus affected all of us can teach us something new about the essential rhythms in our lives.

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Header image: Changing Rhythms Banner

Icon image: Changing Rhythms Icon_yellow

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