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Tuesday, November 24 • 12:30 - 13:30
B16: Local responses and the science-society relationship during the Covid-19 pandemic

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This session will integrate two collaborative and multi-disciplinary projects with the COVID-19 pandemic in focus but from different points of view. We will show the strengths of trans-sector research to meet societal challenges.  
Initial responses to Covid-19 were mainly national. However, cities around the world soon added local adaptations like promotion of biking and safe public transport.  
A Mistra Urban Futures team followed the implementation of the SDGs in Cape Town, Gothenburg and other cities, also studying urban responses to COVID-19. 
Cape Town’s main challenge was the impact on informal settlement residents who are particularly at risk of infectious diseases as it is difficult to practice social distancing in overcrowded conditions with a lack of adequate water supply and sanitation.  
In Gothenburg, many workplaces, including universities, recommended staff to work from home, adding local recommendations and guidelines. Quick actions were taken concerning distance education, public transport and additional street space for bike lanes.  
In parallel, communication researchers, also from Cape Town and Gothenburg, followed COVID-19 media coverage using diaries to observe and reflect on the role and authority of science. Arguments and discussions about scientific expertise were followed, and patterns, shifts in narratives and international differences were observed. 

Keywords: COVID-19, transdisciplinary, communication, societal challenges, SDG

avatar for Sara Pettersson

Sara Pettersson

stadsledningskontoret, Göteborgs Stad
avatar for Warren Smit

Warren Smit

Researcher, African Centre for Cities
I am a researcher on urban issues who has worked in research and management positions in academia and the NGO sector since 1993, and I have a PhD in urban planning. I have worked at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town since 2008, where I am the manager of... Read More →
avatar for Jan Riise

Jan Riise

Engagement manager, Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development
I am working in the interface between science and society, between research and impact - sometimes it is called "engagement". This is about not only understanding that there may be differences in the way we look at societal challenges as well as conflicting rationalities - but also... Read More →
avatar for Marina Joubert

Marina Joubert

Senior Researcher, Stellenbosch University
Dr Marina Joubert is a science communication researcher at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She promotes pro-active involvement of researchers in open dialogue between science and society, and the development of evidence-based science communication practice. Her research interests... Read More →

Sandra Valencia

Lead researcher, Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (Chalmers University of Technology)
I am a lead researcher at Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development at Chalmers University of Technology. I recently completed leading a comparative project on the city-level implementation of Agenda 2030 and the New Urban Agenda. The project involved 7 cities around the world... Read More →

Tuesday November 24, 2020 12:30 - 13:30 CET
Zoom Room E