Magazine June 1, 2020, Issue

Urban, Dense: A Defense

Lower Manhattan at sunrise (Harald Nachtmann/Getty Images)
Why conservatives should care about cities

Population density is taking a beating as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Urban centers from Wuhan to New York City are hot spots for the virus, and many people argue, based on plausible intuitions, that urban crowding is to blame for its spread. Not all the evidence is in yet, and reassurances that New York could have prepared like (for instance) Seoul are, especially in the heat of the present, less persuasive to many than the mobile mortuaries humming around the city or the ongoing official use of the transit system as a homeless shelter. But cities have always

This article appears as “Dense: A Defense” in the June 1, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Alex Armlovich is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he writes primarily on urban issues, such as housing, transportation, and infrastructure.

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A reader responds to Theodore Kupfer and Ramesh Ponnuru’s article, “Coronavirus Lockdowns: Going the Distance.”

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