In the first week of March, Reuters used location data gathered from smartphones to show a powerful correlation between income and social distancing. The data gathered across millions of American smartphones by Idaho-based Kochava Collective, a company that helps businesses evaluate the effectiveness of online ads, and analysed by MIT elections lab, showed that wealth was a reliable predictor of the the need to commute. By the end of the month, there was greatly reduced travel within higher income counties and neighbourhoods which implied ability to work from home and stock up enough enough daily essentials to stay at home while in poorer districts, there was greater variety in travel habits, implying little choice in the matter: be it as essential workers who had to continue working or workers requiring the income and hence commuting in defiance of local restrictions.
It is data which sees anecdotal but equally similar outcomes around the world as well: According to Quartz, people who live in the low- or middle-income neighborhoods of Africa or Asia’s large cities, or the slums of Latin America, depend on the informal economy. They are often sharing overcrowded quarters, and don’t have a realistic option to stand two meters (six feet) apart. In India, the informal sector contributes half of the GDP in Asia’s third-largest economy. Bloomberg discovered that it employed more than 90% of India’s total workforce – a large proportion of the more than 8.8 million households who live in slums, earning as little as $2 a day as menial workers who don’t have the option to work from home, or avoid public transportation to practice social distancing. All signs point to social distancing being the new luxury.
Introducing CPH-Ø1 Copenhagen Islands: a new type of public space in the Copenhagen Harbour
A new type of public space in the Copenhagen harbour, colloquially referred to as Ø1 (officially named CPH-Ø1) after the Danish single-letter word for island, is fast becoming an architectural and environmental consideration in egalitarian North European states as public policy officials start to plan for life after the coronavirus. The Copenhagen Islands are a not for profit initiative supported by Københavns Kommune, Og Havn and Den Gode Havneliv; Designed by by Marshall Blecher & Studio Fokstrot, the artificial Copenhagen Islands Ø1 are constructed from sustainable and recyclable materials, offering socially distant spaces and eco-systems of their own.
First unveiled in 2018, each island of the artificial archipelago will feature its own greenery providing a self-supportive ecosystem for the insect life that will call it home. The anchor points for the Copenhagen Islands themselves are designed to eventually foster a conducive environment for seaweeds, fish and mollusks to take root. As a result the generous scattering of green spaces in the centre of the city gives the multitudes a space of their own for a brief respite. Initially conceived for climate resilient urbanism, the artificial Copenhagen Islands Ø1 now offer a glimpse of a socially conscious environment in a post-coronavirus world where everyone can gather for a spot of fishing, winter bathing or BBQing, separately.
Hand built using traditional carpentry techniques by Copenhagen’s south harbour boat-builders, the 25m2 artificial Harbour islands showcases a 6m linden tree at its center will be moved seasonally to cater for demand and events.
Floating Villa Lilypad off Sydney’s Palm Beach Takes Social Distancing to Luxurious Heights
Over in Sydney’s Palm Beach, Villa Lilypad floating just off the shoreline is a literal luxury which high net worth individuals already enjoy. Taking social distancing to a whole new level, Sydney’s Lilypad Palm Beach presents its full service floating villa for the ultimate luxuriously isolated stay. Surrounded by vast oceans and private beaches, guests are treated to world class cuisine, access to on-board wine cellars, and day spa treatments, in a comforting space where innovative design meets traditional craftsmanship.
Offering two curated and all-inclusive luxurious isolated packages, Sydney’s Lilypad Villa guarantees guests no direct human contact throughout the duration of each stay. Ranging anywhere from 3 to 14 nights, each package includes meals prepared offsite by villa’s Head Chef, an onboard wine cellar with a selection of handpicked wines, a private self-drive tender, high speed internet, Netflix, Foxtel, daily breakfast of banana bread and granola fresh fruit salad, an in-room mini-bar stocked with Verve Clicquot Champagne and premium beer, daily laundry and housekeeping services, daily grocery orders, a palatial king sized bed with premium Sheridan sheets, robes and slippers, stand-up paddle boards and fishing rods, plus a booming Bose sound system.
In light of the recent and ongoing global pandemic, the Lilypad villa off Sydney’s Palm Beach has since taken the necessary steps to place shorter duration stays (such as One and Two Nights) on hold up till July 2020. This is due to the introduction of extended cleaning processes and changed guest interaction policies. Worth an estimated AUD$1,800 to $3,500 per night, the Villa Lilypad reassures guests that these short-term booking options will not only be available once again from July 1st onwards, but will return alongside with the addition of other romantic escape packages, available by September 1st.
Contributed reporting by Julia Roxan Nebil