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Thursday, 28 April 2022 11:01

Call for Papers Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences - Special Issue on ‘Modelling Pandemic Impacts in Space’

Call for Papers - Special Issue on ‘Modelling Pandemic Impacts in Space’

Guest Editors

Pui-Hang Wong, UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University
Karima Kourtit, CAROU, Open University of the Netherlands
Peter Nijkamp, CAROU, Open University of the Netherlands

Scope and aims

Two years have passed since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. As we are gradually adapted to the new normal, it is time to reflect on the longer-term impacts of the pandemic to the economy and society. While some people consider the pandemic a game changer, which fundamentally changes how society functions and people behave, some contend that its impacts are transitory.

The purpose of this special issue of LSRS is to encourage scholars to examine and re-examine various impacts of pandemics using quantitative data from an urban or regional perspective. Similar to many other pandemics, COVID-19 has a clear regional dimension. At the regional scale, some countries (e.g., the US and Italy) and regions were hit harder than the others. Cities were at the forefronts of the health crisis. Many cities enforced lockdown, but with various levels of success. What might possibly explain the variations in the spread and impacts of the pandemic across space? Why were some places relatively more resilient than the others? What are the geographical determinants of risk and resilience? How did governments react to the crisis and what are their impact and effectiveness? How did people interact with the built environment to drive the pandemic dynamics? The primary goal of the special issue of LSRS is to develop an improved understanding on the uneven impacts of pandemics and policies in space.  

This special issue welcomes contributions that employ newly available data, causal designs (e.g., experiments), or statistical techniques (e.g., spatial econometrics, GIS, AI, machine learning, data analytics and big data) to scrutinize, model, explain, evaluate and predict pandemics or their economic, social, political and health impact at various geographical scales.


The objective of this special issue is to increase our understanding of how pandemics evolve and affect human and society across space by adopting an evidence-based approach. The focus is not limited to COVID-19 but includes other pandemics such as influenza, AIDS, SARS and Ebola. In view of this objective, this special issue is particularly interested in submissions that use a quantitative approach to model and evaluate various aspects of a pandemic — their spread, impacts and prevention — with a clear urban or regional element in analysis. This special issue welcomes contributions that address in particular the following (or other related) topics:

  • Impacts on physical and mental health and subjective wellbeing
  • Evaluations of lockdown, social distancing and testing policy 
  • Spatial-temporal diffusion of diseases
  • Spatial resilience and recovery
  • Health system resilience
  • Cultural groups and exposure to infection diseases
  • Spatial determinants of health inequality
  • Vaccination disparity in space
  • Urban mobility during and after pandemics 
  • Use and perception of urban space during and after pandemics
  • Smart city and pandemics

Timeline and Guideline

  • The submission deadline is September 15, 2022. Final, full-length papers need to be submitted through the journal portal. 
  • The submission guideline of LSRS can found at Following the “letter” format, all contributions should have maximum 5000 words, including references but excluding tables and figures. 
  • All submissions will undergo the usual peer review process.

Corresponding guest editor

Pui-Hang Wong (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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