Study shows how pandemic decreased income diversity of urban encounters, even after lockdowns

By Richard Yonck

There were many fallouts from the COVID-19 pandemic, but one that is rarely discussed is its effect on diverse encounters and social mixing in our cities. Greater interaction between different groups in cities that leads to sharing ideas and experience is seen as one of the many benefits of urbanization.

Now, a study from researchers at MIT and Oxford University explores how much mobility and diverse social encounters were impacted by the pandemic, potentially altering how we engage with and relate to one another. Their findings suggest the pandemic could have long lasting negative effects on income diversity, highlighting the need for policies to reverse this trend.

Given how lockdowns forced people to reduce their movement during the pandemic, this study raises many questions about the social consequences of these mandated behavioral changes.

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