Analysing the effects of pandemics on public spaces in the Renaissance and today

The University of Valencia is part of the Public Renaissance: Urban cultures of public space between Early Modern Europe and the Present (PCI2019-103749) project that studies the urban cultures of public space in sixteenth-century Europe. Researchers involved in the project have released a video on the impact of pandemics on the public space (ónica Bolufer Peruga

The project investigates the political, social and cultural uses of public space in cities such as Exeter, Hamburg, Deventer, Trento and Valencia, where they relate historical research to the connection between social movements and public space.

In modern Valencia the Revolt of the Brotherhoods from 1519 to 1522 is taken as a starting point, “we put the focus on the interactions and tensions of street life as the result of the sale of popular prints, urban violence, assistance to public executions or the market and the efforts of the ecclesiastical and civil authorities to control and moralise these activities through prohibition, regulation and preaching”, says researcher Mónica Bolufer.

The team is made up of Mónica Bolufer Peruga, Pablo Pérez García, Juan Francisco Pardo Molero, Jorge A. Catalá Sanz, Daniel Muñoz Navarro and Blanca Llanes Parra from the University of Valencia, and Juan Gomis Coloma of the Catholic University of Valencia.

To enhance dissemination and connect with the concerns of today’s society, the project has just published a video that addresses from multiple points of view the effects of pandemics on the public space of Renaissance cities, drawing similarities and contrasts with the current situation. “It is intended to contribute to the reflection on the complex interaction between citizenship, urban life and public space. We as historians cannot predict what will happen after the COVID-19 crisis, but what is clear is that just as in the cases of the plague in Valencia of 1519 and other pandemics that occurred in past centuries, these outbreaks can have a significant effect at the political, economic and social level” says Gomis Coloma in the video broadcast on YouTube.

The project has been funded by the Humanities European Research Area network, made up of several European entities, including the Spanish Research Agency of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.


Video impact of pandemics:


Project Website: