Our research concluded some time before the outbreak of COVID-19, but we suggest that many of the insights drawn from it, about austerity and collaboration, will be useful in considering ways forward from the pandemic. In the first instance, it seems clear that austerity made COVID-19 an even more iniquitous disease than it would in any case have been, with cities and urban peripheries the heart of both contagion and suffering (Biglieri, De Vidovich and Keil, 2020). The disease has unsurprisingly had a multitude of impacts on our cities, often linked to austerity. We therefore conclude further with an Afterword from the eight, including reflections on developments since the end of the research, impacts of COVID-19 and possible signs that it might be possible to ‘build back better’.
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