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Perspective

Density Isn’t Easy. But It’s Necessary.

Americans have always had a difficult relationship with urban density. But in a crisis, we need what cities can provide.
The Manhattan skyline is reflected in a lake in New York City's Central Park
The Manhattan skyline is reflected in a lake in New York City's Central ParkTimothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

This is part of an ongoing CityLab series on the debate over urban density during the coronavirus crisis. For more, go here.

The oldest trope in America is back: Cities are bad. Cities mean density and density means human contact, and human contact, in the crucible of the pandemic, means illness and death.