COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 has disrupted cities globally on a very human level and at a systems level. Community groups, businesses, and governments are now tasked with responding and rebuilding from the pandemic – while still striving to make cities more equitable and resilient for everyone. Many projects and organizations that submitted to the Prize for Cities are responding to COVID and utilizing their unique approaches to find new ways forward.

Find out more about how projects are responding and support relief efforts:

Asiye eTafuleni

Durban, South Africa | 2018-2019 Finalist

Asiye eTafuleni is advocating for, and working alongside, informal workers to rebuild pandemic resistant public spaces. Together with WIEGO, they have developed and disseminated health guidelines for informal traders in the Warwick Junction markets, as well conducted a research project surveying 180 informal workers to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted them. AeT has implemented many interventions to protect informal workers, including portable hand wash stations made from easily sourced materials that traders can set up at their stalls.



Dar es Salaam, Accra, Maputo | 2018-2019 Grand Prize Winner

Pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions have changed mobility patterns around the world. Amend conducted surveys of drivers, teachers, parents, school children and road safety instructions in three cities where they work: Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Accra (Ghana) and Maputo (Mozambique). The findings indicated there were increased speeds and increased concerns about road safety in many areas and Amend recommended road safety awareness be built into re-opening efforts.


Kounkuey Design Initiative

Nairobi, Kenya | 2020-2021 Finalist

Reflecting its roots in both Kenya and the United States, the Kounkuey Design Initiative is contributing to COVID relief efforts in Nairobi and California. Stay-at-home support kits provide groceries, sanitary products and kids’ toys, phone surveys are helping to collect data on community impacts, and community ambassadors are connecting with vulnerable residents.


Mahila Housing SEWA Trust

Ahmedabad, India | 2020-2021 Finalist

The second wave of COVID-19 has hit India hard, and there has been a disproportionate impact on informal households, especially women. Mahila Housing SEWA Trust is providing meal and health kits and connecting families to government social security programs.


SWaCH Pune Seva Sahakari Sanstha

Pune, India | 2018-2019 Finalist

India’s second wave of COVID-19 has devastated the waste picker community, yet they continue to provide the essential services of waste management. Kashtakari Panchayat is providing direct cash, safety equipment and vaccination support for 3,500 waste pickers. Every rupee donated to the organization is doubled by the Harish & Bina Shah Foundation.


Tecnológico de Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico | 2020-2021 Finalist

The pandemic has accelerated active mobility projects in DistritoTec to enable safer pedestrian and cycling access, including making the whole district a 30km/h zone. Tecnológico de Monterrey has become the base of operations in Monterrey for the federal vaccination strategy. The university is also supporting national relief through its two hospitals, working with students experiencing financial hardship, and launched a fund for social impacts projects, including helping public schools adapt.