If We Know Then What We Know Now

The birds aren’t singing louder. There’s just less noise to compete with.

The air isn’t cleaner because of a major environmental initiative. We’ve just parked most of the cars, trucks and planes in the developed world.

One of the few positives of this pandemic is that we’re learning how quickly (and positively) our urban environments respond to our (relative) absence.

So as we talk about a return to normal, the question is, “is the old normal what we want?” At some point schools and businesses will reopen and we’ll start figuring out how life is going to be moving forward. If we know then what we know now, what will we do differently?

Will we adapt our behavior and civic policy to make cities cleaner and quieter? Will we adapt our built environment to account for animals' food sources and migratory patterns and minimize disruption of natural processes? Will we cultivate the soil under our streets?

Or will we continue to think of “nature” as a different space, apart from human settlement?