What is the new normal? Challenges and opportunities beyond COVID-19

Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) looks to a post-COVID world and what a ‘new normal’ will entail.

Why it matters

Now, as we seem to have moved beyond the peak of the first large coronavirus/COVID-19 wave in Europe and the dramatic death toll is decreasing, people and economic stakeholders are beginning to push for a fast reduction of restrictions as a way back to a new normal. This new normal will have to account for the fact that all aspects of daily life, like working, shopping, educating children and youth, mobility, recreational and cultural activities, as well as the first steps of economic recovery, will have to be organised with an existing virus still threatening the health, and potentially lives of people until medication and vaccines will be available. We will most likely see sustained discussions between groups with conflicting interests, wishes and needs related to the balance between risks and safety, and to individual freedom, quality of life, economic and social stability. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis is accentuating already existing societal problems, particularly in the field of social justice.

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Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), June 2020