Public facilities and services in times of crisis - groundwork for the future

The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity for assessing both the resistance and the fragilities of public facilities and services. With the pandemic now slowing down it is possible to give initial feedback on the experience.

Ivry-sur-Seine market during lockdown in May 2020 © Apur - Michaël Silva-Gori

Beyond the lockdown period and the restrictions imposed on healthcare services by the pandemic, physical distancing over this long period changed public reception conditions in almost all facilities. This led to facilities, occupying a 70 km² footprint in Grand Paris Metropolis, remaining partially or totally closed during lockdown. At the same time, the development of digitisation enabled numerous services to keep working. 

This note proposes a first analysis of responses given during the health crisis and shows how public facilities and services progressed in their ways of adapting to the situation. The first challenges for running public facilities and services were lockdown and the need for social distancing. The next priority was the issue of mobilising available space - solutions varied depending on the area. Being able to mobilise space was one of the most important lessons learnt because it provides the flexibility necessary for adapting to constraints which will always be difficult to foresee. Use of multi-purpose and versatile modular space, as well as activating mobile facilities, were also resources which reinforced public services’ ability to adapt. Organisational synergies were discovered to be useful too, like widening time slots to alleviate rush hour in public transport, transferring staff to other facilities and supporting citizens’ initiatives.    

These various innovative initiatives facilitate the efficiency of support measures for staff working in public services - protective procedures and equipment, transport aid, housing - which are essential for services and facilities to continue working in times of emergency. In the future, adapting public facilities and services can be based on a balance between temporary digitisation for part of the services, flexible management and ways of functioning and maintaining reception of the public in conditions adapted to the crisis.


Documents to download

  • Note

    Public facilities and services in times of crisis - groundwork for the future

    Format : pdf, 6.17 MB