Health in the postpandemic city: Contested spatializations and biopolitical implications


  • Iris Dzudzek
  • Henning Füller



urban geography, political geography, discourse, biopolitics, health geography, Germany, urban health


Health and disease have been conceived as problems of urban space throughout history, and public health interventions have repeatedly been employed as spatial strategies. Critical perspectives have already utilized this special relation: Urban health is often a showcase for modes of biopolitics. We follow this example, investigating the current rearticulation of public health in the aftermath of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. We draw together the German debate on health in the post-pandemic city, both in the general media and in planning literature, using a discourse-analytical method and find that two contrasting narratives emerge. The urban is considered either as the expression of pathogenic spatial density or as the site of healthy social interactions. While each narrative prefigures a very different mode of intervention, both encourage a spatialization of health, with powerful implications. Distinguishing the competing rationales thus allows better decisions on ways to promote health in the city.




How to Cite

Dzudzek, I., & Füller, H. (2022). Health in the postpandemic city: Contested spatializations and biopolitical implications. ERDKUNDE, 76(3), 185–194.