Debunking the Density Myth

When New York emerged as the site of the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the US, pundits and politicians quickly pointed to the city’s density—tall apartment buildings and packed subway cars—as the primary source of the spread.

Yet there is little evidence to support this connection. When cases and deaths reached peak levels in the NYC area, the city’s suburbs had higher rates of infections, and some of the densest neighborhoods in Manhattan were among those least affected. As CHPC’s research shows, density is not to blame for the pandemic—and using it as a scapegoat will make it harder for our public health and economy to recover. In addition, lessons learned from international transit agencies demonstrate that transit is not a vector for transmission when proper precautions (such as universal mask-wearing) are in place.

As COVID-19 cases surge nationwide, we need to take a closer look at the aspects of our housing and transit that could be risk factors, and strategies to protect New Yorkers who are most vulnerable as a result. Join TransitCenter and Citizens Housing & Planning Council for a discussion on debunking the density myth.

Free “DENSITY is not the problem” face masks available with event registration!

To claim, send your name & mailing address to [email protected]











When: Tue., Aug. 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Where: TransitCenter
One Whitehall St., 17th Floor
646-395-9555
Price: Free
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When New York emerged as the site of the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the US, pundits and politicians quickly pointed to the city’s density—tall apartment buildings and packed subway cars—as the primary source of the spread.

Yet there is little evidence to support this connection. When cases and deaths reached peak levels in the NYC area, the city’s suburbs had higher rates of infections, and some of the densest neighborhoods in Manhattan were among those least affected. As CHPC’s research shows, density is not to blame for the pandemic—and using it as a scapegoat will make it harder for our public health and economy to recover. In addition, lessons learned from international transit agencies demonstrate that transit is not a vector for transmission when proper precautions (such as universal mask-wearing) are in place.

As COVID-19 cases surge nationwide, we need to take a closer look at the aspects of our housing and transit that could be risk factors, and strategies to protect New Yorkers who are most vulnerable as a result. Join TransitCenter and Citizens Housing & Planning Council for a discussion on debunking the density myth.

Free “DENSITY is not the problem” face masks available with event registration!

To claim, send your name & mailing address to [email protected]

Buy tickets/get more info now