Due to COVID-19 people have been in lockdown, factories have been silenced, traffic has been reduced and tourists are nowhere to be seen. However, there are also things that have noticeably improved since the COVID-19 pandemic has become a part of our everyday lives.
Here are our 5 favorite side effects and things that have improved in the environment in “our” cities which are all related to COVID-19.
1. Clear water in the canals of Venice
It was reported by a spokesperson for the Venice mayoral office to CNN that “The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom”. With a national lockdown in Italy and no visitors and boats, fish and swans can also be witnessed in the canals again.
2. Coyotes reclaim cities as seen in San Francisco
3. People become more active – too much in Paris
When you cannot meet friends or have your long-awaited family reunion, you are forced to do things by yourself. Jogging is definitely one of the most popular activities that do not involve other people. It is great that COVID-19 pushes people to become more active and exercise outdoors.
In Paris this has actually become a problem as the amount of people running outside has increased overwhelmingly. Therefore, the government had to ban daytime jogging to fight the spread of the virus (BBC News)
4. Views have cleared from the hills of Athens
The smog that has been part of the Athens lifestyle has cleared up. Sometimes in the recent past it was possible on a clear day to see the nearby islands. Right now in Athens the air is very clear every day.
For the first time in a very long time it’s even possible to distinguish houses on the islands nearby Athens (like Aegina). Here’s a picture that one of our Spotters took!
5. Car use reduction project in Milan
As one of the busiest and most populated cities in Italy, Milan‘s traffic congestion and air pollution have dropped drastically as a result of the nationwide lockdown. This has inspired the city to plan projects after the lockdown that will increase the size of cycling lanes by transforming part of the streets. By conducting this change, the city should see a reduction in car use and that people will opt for greener ways of transportation (The Guardian).