Color maps of a world in coronavirus blockade – ABOUT MAG 2020

Tight plants, “sanity” walks and the people you miss seeing: they appeared on your home maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated: April 24, 2020

CityLab recently invited readers to draw maps of their worlds at the time of the coronavirus. Almost 220 of you have already answered our call with an incredible variety of interpretive maps, sent from all over the world.

You made a map of how your homes, neighborhoods, cities and countries have changed under orders of social distance and staying at home across the planet, from daily work routines and routes for your “health walks” to the people you miss and the places he misses have fled.

While most used markers, pens and computer-based drawing tools to draw maps by hand, some used watercolors, clay and photography. Some were funny, others touching – among them, a full spectrum of emotions from the quarantine era emerged.

Our submission portal for this project is still open and we invite you to share your maps and stories here. Below is a selection of the maps we have received so far, in order to present a diversity of geographies and experiences. Accompanying the maps are some of the details you shared, edited for clarity.

Come back here often, as we will continue to publish more maps when we receive them.


“I can’t go out at all. I can imagine things ”

I’ve been quarantined since I came back from college. I got out of an ambulance outside my door and, for weeks, the only two places I can visit are my room or my garden. I grew up in this neighborhood and I can draw it while sleeping, but during that time, I can’t even take a walk outside.

So I decided to design my new “neighborhood”. I can name all the vegetables and plants in my garden, know exactly where they are, how big they are, how many fruits and flowers on a tree etc. This has changed a lot because I can’t get out. I know the market is still open and my mom still goes there from time to time, but many things are closed. I can imagine things, but I don’t really know how they are now.

– Trinh, Haiphong, Vietnam


“I’m smiling behind the mask”

The map is a collage of the blockade in Buenos Aires, where we can only go out to buy groceries and pharmacies. The red line is my walk, every day, to buy the basics. The room I designed is where my five-year-old daughter and I spend most of the day working remotely and studying at home.

I usually live in Belfast, but I visit Buenos Aires every year. I usually spent most of the day out here, meeting people for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now all socializing takes place over the phone. The neighborhood is still very lively, as this is a very dense area of ​​the city, but the masks are mandatory, so there is an unusual feeling of distrust. A woman in line at the butcher said, “I’m smiling behind the mask,” which made us laugh.

– Agustina Martire, Buenos Aires, Argentina


“This situation will help us to break old habits”

In the blink of an eye, Covid-19 changed our habits, reducing our scope. The map shows the way I make a “ring” around my neighborhood to go shopping and, if necessary, to the bank and then return home. There is no dangerous traffic, no disturbing noises, no pollution. We can even see some animals in the city that were not seen before. The birds sing, they come to our balconies, the streets seem clean. Of course, I’m just talking about my little neighborhood ring.

I think that this situation will help us to eliminate old habits that might not be the right ones, in order to raise awareness about protecting the world and, with that, take care of ourselves.

– Augusto Javier Leão Peralta, Santa Cruz da Serra, Bolivia


“I am nowhere and everywhere all the time”

This is a map of my place at home every day. I am a student of urban design and being in many cities at the same time is common for me. But this time is unique, because I am nowhere and everywhere all the time. This computer connects me to the outside world.

The only reminder I get from where I am is the window on the right, a glimpse of New York City’s characteristic fire escapes and the beautiful, changeable shadows of a quarantined fountain.

Candelaria Mas Pohmajevic, New York


“Social detachment has become our shield in this game of life”

The map is based on a video game called Bomberman. As in the game, we carry a weapon, in this case the Covid-19 virus, which can kill us.

The map is based on the path I must follow to reach different points of supply without being caught by the enemy carrying the virus. For this reason, social distance has become our shield in this game of life.

– Carla Ximena Carrillo Quintanilla, Santa Cruz da Serra, Bolivia (Translated from Spanish by Erick Ruiz de Chavez)


“The little details that reveal things”

My map shows a one-mile route through my neighborhood and I travel frequently. There are dozens of possible paths, but I selected the three that I most often do.

I became more aware of the geography of my neighborhood, both on a macro and micro scale. I became aware of the layout of the streets, locations of specific landmarks and the small details in the backyards of people who reveal things about their lives.

– Champ Turner, Austin, Texas


“It looks like a walk through memory”

The creation of this map made me realize that my relationship with my neighborhood is strongly defined by several places that act as points of reference in the area where I live. Although some of the places I like the most, like the local library or the street market, are nowhere near the usual entertainment, they remain strangely present in my memory.

I also enjoyed the views from my apartment. As a substitute for any other trip, the network of streets around my home has become a very welcome geographic structure for careful mapping of the neighborhood.

– Diana Dobrin, London, United Kingdom


“There is no limit on distance on bike rides”

This hibiscus flower, representing the trees blooming here, is made up of the different bike routes I took in recent weeks around Brussels. In Brussels (the white area), the dominant language is French, but when you leave Brussels and enter Flanders (the surrounding pink area), everything is in Flemish Dutch. There are even some supermarkets in the Netherlands, with products that remind me of home. I also included some parks in the area to show the uneven spatial distribution of green spaces. This inequality became more recognized as a problem during the first weeks of quarantine, when the police sent someone who was returning to their neighborhood without many green spaces, even though there were no official distance limits.

The size of my neighborhood is increasing and decreasing at the same time. It decreased, because I probably walked all the streets around here now, many of them full of cherry blossoms, and it increased, because I rode my bike in all possible directions to places I’ve never been before. Public transport is now only allowed for essential trips, but luckily, there is no distance limit on bike rides, and the streets are very calm, so I have been exploring the city and countryside for the past few weeks.

– Ele Denne, Brussels, Belgium


“The poor sea snake living in a darker patch of the sea”

Author and illustrator Carson Ellis suggested drawing a “treasure map” as one of her diaries Quarantine Art Club tasks and this was mine: a reminder to myself of what to do to remain happy during isolation. The mountains are based on the wonderful works of Christa Rijneveld and the sea monsters are from Carta Marina (a brilliant 16º century map of nordic countries)

My 11-month-old son also tried to help by dropping a cup of cold coffee on the corner. Just in case you’re wondering about the poor sea snake living in a darker patch of the sea!

– Gro Slotsvik, Bristol, United Kingdom


“Watching the sunset”

This is the sunset I see from my window and the fresh air that only the virus enjoys.

– Itzel Taboada, Bolivia


“It’s really weird that we have to stay home”

“This is a cartoon about people who are finding ways to live positively during the blockade. It is really strange that we have to stay home for a long time. Everything is closed, we are not as busy as before. It’s just an interesting time for all of us, ”says Jackson of his map.

Jackson has autism and I am typing his thoughts for him. I am his mother.

– Jack S., Austin, Texas


“A fantasy transit map to highlight a promising future”

Like many people, quarantine made me miss seeing my friends and family. It made me wonder how, even under normal circumstances, I still remain physically distant from them because I don’t have my own car. I created this fantasy traffic map to highlight a hopeful future in which I would be able to see them easily and without having to drive.

Without traffic and racing in the big city, I was able to ride my bike and enjoy the city’s green landscape and wonderful tropical climate. Often, a community that seems full of obsessed individuals, I feel that Miami has always had problems with civic identity. But it was wonderful to see people supporting their neighbors at the moment.

– Justin Raymond Hernandez, Miami


“Starting at home and looking north”

Seeing nature up close and observing it with pen and ink is my most relaxing and rejuvenating activity. I’m usually out of the world of nature. But now I must imagine my favorite places in my mind.

This map was made in my home office, when I captured some of my favorite places in nature, starting at home and looking north. Each zone (home, neighborhood, city and nature) helped me to revisit these places and enjoy them in a new way.

– Kate Rutter, Emeryville, California


“The neighborhood is friendlier, scarier and much smaller”

This map shows how our space changes day and night based on our new routine. What used to be just our living room is now a haven at night, when we are anxious.

The neighborhood is friendlier, scarier and much smaller than it was before. We are becoming intimately aware of how the world is interconnected and, at times, intimidating.

– Kayla Adolph, Toledo, Ohio


“Other people have to risk their lives”

My map is about the difference between being at home and out. Inside, we have the possibility to remain safe. But for that to happen, other people need to risk their lives – for example, police and doctors. They support our quarantined days.

In quarantine, I pay more attention to things like noises that bother me, like children screaming or sounds from television.

– María Liliana Solares Moreno, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


“The map of silence”

The blockade caused people to disperse from the streets, and with them cars and noise. The map of silence shows how now only the dogs and birds, the wind and the church bells are heard at home, as well as the collective applause at 8 pm. thank health workers for their work.

Paula Ugarriza, Bilbao, Spain


“I spend most of the day working inside the windows”

I mapped out some almost common interactions that happen within a block of my apartment: watching the mechanic work downstairs, picking up bread at the bakery and walking and running in a small part of the neighborhood.

As the order to stay at home came into effect, I spend most of the day working inside the windows. I usually went out to the park, but I restricted any outdoor activity to residential areas only. The orange and palm trees in my neighbor’s yards became more familiar landmarks and my type of garden.

– Sarah Stancik, Los Angeles, California


“They won the great human / goose conflict”

Portland has a beautiful river, which extends for six kilometers and which I am lucky to have in my neighborhood. Since the “Stay at home” order came into effect, I entered at different times throughout the day, trying to find that ideal spot where people are at an adequate distance from me. But runners become stupid because of the effort (I sympathize with that), and families with two parents and children cannot imagine dividing into teams.

On the positive side, I like the smug expressions of the geese by the river – they seem to be sure they have won the great conflict between goose and human.

I live in the curious Portland nightclub / social services corridor. During the day, the composition of the streets in the neighborhood changed to an undiluted representation of people looking for transitional housing and other support services. Party people still seem to be attracted here on weekend nights. They yell at each other from their cars, and I find that kind of charming. So, I thought my relationship with my neighborhood had changed, but now that I wrote that, I realize that it really hasn’t changed.

– Suzette Smith, Portland, Oregon


“It’s okay to stay at home”

Two years ago, we moved into this house and I really love it. Each room is different. There is a room with lots of books, a room where I can paint, a room where we can have a beer on the weekend, a cafeteria and a living room. So there is no problem with staying at home. Lots to do, lots to learn and lots to enjoy.

– Wendy Kiel, Hilversum, Netherlands


“I find myself with nowhere to go”

My neighborhood map shows the radius of about four to five blocks that I considered my neighborhood before Covid-19. I showed you my home, which now serves as a school, as well as a home gym. I showed the main landmarks that, after drawing the map, I realized that they were mainly places to buy food and other necessities. On my map, I realized that I am only leaving home to gather these essential items and, as such, I am no longer able to appreciate the most casual and unique elements of my neighborhood that make it as it is.

A map of an Upper East Side neighborhood in New York, with pharmacies, ice cream, camera store

One of my favorite parts of my neighborhood is being close to everything. Now, I have become attuned to the fact that, even with all these places nearby, I find myself with nowhere to go.

– Alex Chung, New York, New York


“It is not easy to be locked up in a house that is not mine”

I escaped London to my boyfriend’s family home, which has become a microcosm of our lives. Working, studying, exercising daily, eating lots of tacos, drinking piña water forget the heat and try to go hiking as soon as possible is now our new daily routine.

A notebook sketch of a house in Mexico, with playful colors and plant doodles

It is not easy to stay in a house that is not mine, but full of love and new experiences. It has become a kind of bubble that we rarely escape from and that we are happy to escape. The neighboring stores are the new attractions, whereas before we ignored them.

– Aurelie Knecht, San Luis Potosi, Mexico


“I found myself listening more closely”

I drew a map of all the sounds I heard on a long walk through my neighborhood. My little neighborhood has become my whole world! So things that used to look small now look much bigger. The birds look taller.

I drew this map because I found myself listening more carefully as I walked and forming new sound dictionaries in my head.

– C.X. Hua, Cambridge, Massachusetts


“Before Covid-19, there was no walking in my neighborhood”

My work at home never ends. There’s a lot to do, but every day at 5:30 pm, I buy beer at the kiosk on the corner of our street and come home. I have no contact with the city, except online shopping and looking out the window. The map I sent shows my daily journey through the neighborhood.

Before Covid-19, there was no walking in my neighborhood. In my daily routine, I just left my garage and went to school.

– Deniz Baykan, Turkey, Ankara


“My neighborhood within 100 meters”

I became much more aware of the attractions and resources around me and appreciated the green areas available.

– Farah Makki, Italy


“Nobody takes long”

Most of life is limited to my home and within walking distance. This map shows the neighborhood as I see it every day on my various walks. It takes a good-natured approach to the dilemma with which we all live. I am a GIS professional a day, so maps are my thing. (It’s not my art, obviously.)

People seem to say hi more when they pass, but no one stays.

– Jim Landwehr, Waukesha, Wisconsin


“We just wave at each other through the windows”

We are locked up for a minimum of four weeks. We have three adults working from home (plus one as an essential worker), two of whom are also part-time students. Our entire neighborhood (or rather, the world) has been reduced to just our home, and on the outskirts the nearest supermarket and our favorite walking routes around our home.

Instead of waving and greeting each other when we leave and come home, we just wave to each other through the windows, if we meet.

– Joanna Chow, Auckland, New Zealand


“We are experiencing our neighborhood through his eyes”

This is a map of our cat’s outdoor night adventures during Covid-19. Ace is a 9-year-old indoor and outdoor cat who sometimes wears a leash with a GPS sports tracker. During the pandemic, he goes out much more than we do. As the map shows, we are experiencing our neighborhood through his eyes.

We download the tracker data every morning. Ace’s reach is much greater than we ever imagined. He “patrols” alleys; eavesdroppers in people’s backyards; eavesdrop near the shore; and (with fewer cars on the road) even crosses the street.

Although our personal “orbits” have severely contracted, our cats’ have increased. He walks a few miles south of Baltimore every night. Ace’s adventure map is something we look forward to every day as an antidote to our frustration and isolation. He still has the freedom to roam the city and we don’t. We envy him.

– John Palumbi, Baltimore, Maryland


“My relationship with space and time is transformed”

My map shows how my new relationship with space is transformed. The earth is no longer round.

A computer-created map of the Earth imagined by the author, showing the 'edge of the universe' in quarantine

I represented the only kilometer around my house, where I can walk, run, bike. Beyond this limit is the unknown. It’s forbidden. I feel like I’m in the Middle Ages and I have to fight a pioneering mindset that wants to explore what is beyond. Regarding time, my perception is also altered. We can’t spend more than an hour outside. So, when I go for a walk, I savor every 3,600 seconds at my disposal.

– Jonas Vagnoux, Bonneville, France


“Natural and artificial barriers have come to define the boundaries of this strange world”

My map shows how our view of the city was oriented along the Anacostia River. Since the beginning of social isolation in March, my wife and I have taken several walks in the neighborhood, but also to nearby Kenilworth Park. Usually, people in the community don’t spend much time at Kenilworth Park. There is not much to do there, and it is a little wild and full of vegetation. However, it has become an oasis for us in the past few weeks as it is a good way to take a long walk without meeting many people.

A comic portrait of Washington, DC, marked with

One thing I really noticed, since I’m not driving and taking the subway everywhere, is that the natural and artificial barriers in the neighborhood have come to define the limits of this strange world.

– Justin Lini, Washington, D.C.


“It is one of my favorite places in the local area”

A pen drawing of asparagus, a local bakery and the route between the author's house, Hampstead Heath and Regent's Park.

I discovered more local stores and stopped using the supermarket so much.

– Kitty Eyre, London, United Kingdom


“A new landscape of tabbed windows”

In my neighborhood, screens and windows open and close for different cities and countries. My neighborhood is vast, but cluttered, connected and broken, behind the computer screen and at my fingertips.

A chaotic pen drawing shows the chaos of the author's internet browser:

As a residential landscaper, I am fully aware of what my five senses can tell me about a neighborhood. Every website is unique, every place has a story. Working online has been difficult. While I used to visit neighborhoods for which I design in person, I am now visiting online, next to breaking news windows. The visual bombardment was overwhelming. A new scenario of neighborhood windows with flaps and screen door collages is taking shape.

– Kristi Lin, San Diego, California


“Moving from” local “to” local “is now based on my laptop”

During the quarantine, all the ways in which I interact with the world – going to work, going to the store, interacting with friends and family – were compressed in a digital space. Moving from “local” to “local” is now based on my laptop keyboard. This map is a representation of my current life.

An abstract drawing of a computer keyboard, entitled 'The quarantine path'

Although it is frustrating to feel disconnected from my immediate surroundings, a silver lining is connecting with family and friends at home on the continent (and around the world).

– Peter Gorman, Waikoloa, Hawaii


“Constantly assessing risks while I’m away”

This is an abstract map of the places I have been since the shelter order at the site began in San Francisco. Now, I think of the outside world as parks and places where I can get food from time to time. I find myself thinking about which streets to take to the parks, because some streets have many more corridors.

A watercolor map of a San Francisco neighborhood, filled with parks, bakeries and a key indicating how crowded the parks are

The pandemic made me much more aware of my surroundings, constantly assessing the risks while I am away. I am saddened that many local shops and restaurants find it difficult to support themselves, and I fear that the neighborhood will never have the same excitement. As an Asian, I also never felt insecure in this neighborhood, until the pandemic sparked racial tension and hatred against ethnic East Asian people.

– Qiqi Xu, San Francisco, California


“The first in a series of bird watching maps”

Bird watching is being considered a great activity for this moment – easy to do while socializing, takes you outside, connects you with the natural environment. This map is from my local neighborhood park, the first in a series of bird watching maps that I am making as a kind of pandemic diary.

A map of the circular path around a lake in a local park, and the chicken coops, cranes, geese, blackbirds heard and saw there.

I’m going to take more walks with my kids and ask myself why I didn’t do this before.

– Rick Bohannon, Minnesota


“I deeply appreciate the privilege of where I live”

When drawing this map, I became increasingly curious about how my neighborhood evolved. I particularly loved drawing the imposing redwoods and the conflicting architecture.

Hand-drawn map of the residential district of Berkeley, California

While designing my favorite businesses in the area, I took artistic freedom with its roofs for fun. To be honest, I took artistic freedom with the whole map, because I couldn’t remember the exact details of the buildings and their foliage. Although this map is not accurate, looking at it makes me deeply appreciate the privilege of where I live during these strange times. Like everyone else, I can’t go to business or really leave the house, but I keep checking the neighbors virtually.

– Aditi Shah, Berkeley, California


“Agitated, to say the least”

I’m in graduate school and stay with my mom, dad and four younger siblings until I can move in early May. It’s busy, to say the least!

Humorously subtitled drawing of a plan of a family home

Things have changed: lots of leisure and cycling! Saving money, just going out for needs! I also fell in love with how cute the Tampa bungalows are. I forgot!

– Alayna Delgado, Tampa, Florida


“The little things we take for granted”

I mapped the places recorded in my memories. Being raised in a very active social neighborhood and located in the heart of the city center, with all the necessary amenities available nearby, allowed me to create unforgettable memories, a glimpse of what I showed on the map.

Hand-drawn colorful map of the Pakistani neighborhood

Hand-drawn images of the activities the author misses

After living in a hostel for four years in a different city (Lahore), I had just returned to my hometown, but this sudden epidemic made us realize the little things that we take for granted. The coronavirus, without a doubt, changed our lives, making us stay inside the house. I feel very nostalgic when I think about the activities I used to do. Before Covid, I took a daily morning walk in the nearby park, went to the supermarket weekly, went shopping, went to places for everything. But activities have been minimized to zero. For now, my relationship with the neighborhood is limited.

– Amna Azeem, Sialkot, Pakistan


“From my place of peace”

From my place of peace, I imagine that the trees in the south absorb the virus that comes from the north.

Watercolor images of a Bolivian garden and skyscraper

A lot has changed: we communicate more, collaborate in the purchase of food and are supportive.

– Claudia Canedo Velasco, Santa Cruz da Serra, Bolivia


“A lot of life here revolves around the reservoir”

Just a quick sketch of Lacombe. Most of the residents here live along a reservoir that feeds Lake Pontchartrain, but there is a small “center” near a bend on Highway 190. I wanted to include the Bayou Adventure, which functions a little like the Lacombe city hall. They sell bait, rent kayaks and sell hot food and beer. Sal & Judy’s is a basic Sicilian restaurant in the city. The Lafontaine cemetery is where the candle lighting of All Saints Day is held annually. Bayou Lacombe is the only real “main street”.

Spare colored pencil drawing of a small town in Louisiana Bay

The Tammany Trace, a bicycle / pedestrian trail on an old railroad, is closed and the drawbridge over the reservoir is secured in the “up” position. Sal & Judy’s offers only takeaway food, as does Bayou Adventure. The local Da Crab Trap bar is temporarily closed. We are fortunate that much of life here revolves around the reservoir, and that is still open. It is easy to maintain a distance of six feet, but Lacombe is a small town and you lose those little conversations after work stops at Bayou Adventure or Da Crab Trap.

– Brennan Walters, Lacombe, Louisiana


“I hope we don’t go back to what it was before”

My map shows my home. After spending two weeks at home working and learning there, it is as if our world has shrunk. Just going for a run and occasional shopping. The city seems so quiet and peaceful that birds and cats seem to like it.

Pen drawing shows weakness in author's home in Iceland

All cars are parked on the sidewalks, which is a nice change. We live close to a busy street and feel that there is a big difference in noise during peak hours. We see people trying harder to cycle and run than ever before. It is a general positive change. I hope we don’t go back to what it was before, at least not until the end.

– Edda Ívarsdóttir, Iceland


“Everyone is out more”

My map is focused on regular walking routes in our neighborhood. It shows the real limits of Eastwood, a neighborhood in East Nashville, but the focus is on the landmarks that my family has visited frequently during the pandemic.

Computerized map of walks around a Nashville neighborhood

During recent hikes, we have developed much better relationships with our neighbors, because everyone is out more.

– Eric Hoke, Nashville, Tennessee


“My neighborhood has grown to ignore all state borders”

This is a map of the United States, as defined by where my friendships are. I just moved to San Diego and I’m not attached to that as a city. The cities I’m connected to are thousands of miles away and I miss the people in those cities a lot. Quarantine reduced my world to just my home, but at the same time it reminded me that my world is much, much wider, and my connections span not just the country, but the world.

A hand-drawn map of the USA shows the separation of friends from the author

San Diego never felt like my neighborhood. It’s new. I didn’t choose to move here. I don’t know my neighbors and they don’t know me. Now, due to self-isolation, I will not have a chance to explore the neighborhood or the surrounding area. I will not meet people. Vou ficar lá dentro e conversar com as pessoas que já conheço.

Não importa se as pessoas que conheço estão a uma casa ou a 10 estados. Todos são igualmente acessíveis. Como tal, meu bairro cresceu para ignorar todas as fronteiras estaduais e se tornou o povo que eu amava antes desta crise. Converso diariamente com amigos e até amigos de grupos separados se conheceram. Minha vizinhança parece imensamente afastada e inacessível, mas minha comunidade parece muito real.

– Ezra Silkes, San Diego, Califórnia


“Eu notei as duas crianças ficando mais granulares”

Meu filho Jack fará seis anos este ano. Sentamos e ele escreveu os nomes de 10 lugares pelos quais passamos durante nossas caminhadas diárias ao redor do lado norte de Richmond. (Temos sorte de ter muitas calçadas, suas escolas atuais e futuras e muitos amigos a uma curta distância.) Ele então desenhou nossa casa no mapa e adivinhou onde estavam as coisas. Ele adicionou um rio em nosso quintal por algum motivo, o que seria realmente muito agradável de se ter agora.

Uma criança desenha seu bairro na Virgínia com marcadores

Ambos os nossos filhos (a irmã de Jack, Thea, tem 12 anos) costumavam ter a cidade inteira como um bairro – viagens de ônibus e de carro para mercados de agricultores, avós, sorveterias. No mês passado, nosso bairro se comprimiu em um raio de duas milhas. Eu notei as duas crianças ficando mais granulares. Thea está tirando fotos em close de flores, pedras etc. em nossas caminhadas. Jack quer explorar os becos.

– Jack Sarvay, Richmond, Virgínia


“Um elemento de medo ao nos aventurarmos por necessidades”

More than ever, our little terraced house and garden have become a special sanctuary as we try to keep our family and those around us safe.

A floorplan of a Northern Ireland home with viruses floating on the border

On the one hand, [there is] an element of fear as we venture out for necessities, yet on the other, a heightened feeling of compassion with our neighbors and with strangers, as we jointly face this challenge.

— James Hennessey, Northern Ireland


“So many places close by, yet nowhere to go”

Now that public transit is closed except for essential travel, my wanderings are limited to walking and running within about a five-mile radius from my home. On foot, the Potomac River seems more pronounced as a physical barrier, separating Washington, D.C., from me in Arlington, Virginia.

A colorful map of Arlington, Virginia shows the river and subterranean transit

Although my neighborhood has always been walkable, the coronavirus emergency has changed my relationship to my neighborhood because most of the places I used to frequent are now closed. Having so many places close by and yet nowhere to go feels very paradoxical.

— Lauren Nelson, Arlington, Virginia


“All are following the rules of lockdown”

[My map] shows the site plan of my neighborhood, my routine during lockdown, my home and its plan.

A pen-and-paper drawing of an Indian neighborhood under lockdown

We are getting to know our neighbors more as they are at home. There is cooperation and understanding between the neighbors. All are following the rules of lockdown and taking necessary precautions.

— Mrunmayi Sarvade, Solapur, Maharashtra, India


“It has disrupted the most essential element of city life”

Famous streets, cafes, beaches, and train stations [show the changing] relationship to public space during the pandemic. Milan’s cafes, Times Square, the Champs-Élysées, and even mosques, temples, and churches are free of humans.

A computer-rendered silhouette of high-rise neighbors communing from balconies

The global pandemic has made society united in humanity’s survival. But it has also disrupted the most essential element of city life: public life.

— Nawaf Al Mushayt, Lisbon, Portugal


“My experienced world is now that of a four-year-old child”

After being restricted to taking walks no longer than 200 metres from home, I decided to map this area, counting in paces and measuring angles with a carpenter’s ruler. This way, I began to get familiar with the little world to which I was confined but did not know in detail.

A hand-drawn map with calligraphy of an Italian neighborhood

My experienced world is now that of a four-year-old child — it’s interesting to go back there again.

— Richard Dury, Arzago d’Adda (Bergamo), Italy


“The Red and Black God is Netflix”

Being stuck in my apartment for the last few weeks, any adventures or grand journeys I go on have to be scaled down to match. (And since some of my friends were confused, the Red and Black God is Netflix.)

A humorous map of home life shows

Everything seems so much farther away. Even the post office a few blocks away feels like a dangerous journey now.

— Stentor Danielson, Bellevue, Pennsylvania


“Nature is more apparent to me”

My map presents the magnificent trees on my walk around the block, all different in their shape, size, blooms and fauna they attract. I am dwarfed by enormous gum and fig trees, delighted by butterflies, enchanted by mushrooms in the sidewalk grass. The olive trees hearken to folk tales — it’s a rarity in Sydney’s climate to have any tree that bears fruit. It’s a pleasure to observe nature’s rhythms.

A colored pencil sketch of diverse trees and plants in Australian neighborhood

Working from home, I take these walks around the block and quiet backstreets. I enjoy the scent of jasmine, lorikeets squawking, butterflies in lilac hedges. With less cars and people around, nature is more apparent to me.

— Stephanie Bhim, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Sobre o autor


Paula Fonseca