Towards Sustainable Design: Influence of pandemics on Architectural Design and Urban Planning through the ages

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume IX, Issue IV, April 2022 | ISSN 2321–2705

Towards Sustainable Design: Influence of pandemics on Architectural Design and Urban Planning through the ages

Sofia Sebastian, Ravishankar K.R.
University of Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: In the history of the built environment, interior design and urban planning have always responded to epidemics by designing architecture and urban spaces to resist the different viruses and pathogens while preventing their spread. The architectural design strategies used in the past centuries, including Modernism, were a reaction to creating pandemic-free built forms and spaces, thus creating a healthy and sustainable built environment. The Italian piazzas, modernism, minimalism, decentralization of urban cities, urban renewal, etc. were a few of the design outcomes of a pandemic-resistant environment. This research study will help architects understand and evaluate the design strategies used to achieve a healthy, sustainable built environment, thereby adding progressive layers of protection against the virus. Future-built spaces must be designed by taking into account what we’ve learned from the past and moving in the right direction toward sustainability.

Keywords: pandemic, decentralization, low-density housing, sustainable design


The whole world is trying to defend itself against the deadly coronavirus. COVID-19 has a disastrous effect on the health, economy, and societal setup. Coronavirus and its variants have jeopardized all the countries globally and have still not ceased after the protection by two shots of vaccines. This seems to be a recurring hazard, with one variant coming up after another and the series of waves that periodically peak up with a high number of infections.
Communicable diseases have transformed our built environment and urban planning over the past centuries. Many of the practices in architectural and urban design prevalent now have evolved from similar measures taken through the past centuries to safeguard the health, hygiene, and comfort of city dwellers. This research will encourage architects and urban planners to develop innovative ideas and planning theories to protect the built environment from virus attacks, thereby adding more protective layers to the defense system of built forms. This research will also highlight some key zones impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and list their associated inquiries.