Penny Lewis, Vicky Richardson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As we go to press, a debate has broken out between the UK and the European Commission over the export and supply of Covid vaccines. The row exposes how difficult it is to talk about an ‘international community’ despite the fantastic collaboration that has taken place to produce the vaccines. It’s a timely reminder of the difference between calling something a ‘community’ and it being one. Today, community, which by definition is “a body of people or things viewed collectively” or “a body of people having common or equal rights or rank, as distinguished from the privileged classes; the commons; the commonalty,” 2 has become shorthand for shared or publicly held assets rather than describing an ongoing relationship of social solidarity among equals. Many aspects of the Covid experience have highlighted the necessity and possibility of genuine social solidarity and, at the same time, have exposed the serious divisions in society and the obstacles to forming common bonds with our neighbours or beyond. In the UK, the question of how we live together and how we act together has moved to the forefront of public discussion as pundits and academics speculate on urban life post-Covid. Rory Sutherland said, those of us suffering from an urbanist obsession need to recognise that “the more that life is conducted digitally, the less location matters, and the less need there is for agglomeration of people.” 3

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchitecture and Collective Life
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003118985
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2021


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