The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has had sharp effects in urban settings, both in terms of exposing existing inequalities but also in presenting possibilities for reconfiguring the social and spatial organisation of urban life around new ethical foundations. This has led to political exhortations to ‘Build Back Better' (BBB) as a way of avoiding a return to the old ‘normal’ of deep and enduring structural inequalities. However, scepticism remains about the transformational potential of existing visions of BBB as an urban policy response (Rickett, 2020). It is a notion often riddled with ambiguity that has led to partial, ameliorative responses inadequate to the scale and nature of a pandemic best understood as a totalising crisis that has affected work, family life, production and reproduction (Tooze, 2021). Our provocation is to contend that combining the ethics of justice and care could provide a potentially powerful and far-reaching framework to address the weaknesses of BBB strategies to date.


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Crisp, R. & Waite, D. 2022, 'Building Back Better in urban contexts through a dual ethics of justice and care', Urban Geography. https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2022.2142402

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Last updated: 01 April 2023
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