When we can't dwell in our cities,
our stories should wander.
The measures adopted to combat the spread of the Coronavirus are radically transforming cities and urban life. In the spring of 2020, in a vast and increasing number of cities, events were banned, schools closed, and public facilities shut.
Founded in March 2020 by a group of urbanists, Spread stories, not the virus is a platform for citizens to share their experiences and reflections in their locked-down cities. Between Mid-March and May 2020, our initiative collected stories that offer particular and alternative perspectives on the kind of city that emerges when people practice social distancing, confined to their homes.
Our platform rapidly grew to become a space where citizens from all over the world shared creative, constructive, and reflective stories. More than 165 stories were published - told by a diverse body of contributors, originating from cities all over the world. In April 2020, our initiative was awarded a grant by the Chair of Social Entrepreneurship at Complutense University Madrid, as it was recognized as a "student-led solidarity initiative which aims to alleviate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic."
The stories on our website appeared in English, and since the launch of our Spanish-speaking platform in May 2021, in Spanish as well. Many stories have been published in the native language of the authors.
Read more about our initiative
in two pieces written by our team
Other storytelling platforms
that inspire global solidarity
Spread stories, not the virus
featured in media around the world
Who are we?
As an international group of young urbanists, we saw our universities closed overnight in March 2020. Our cities went into lockdown. Confronted with these measures, we became intrigued by the new urban conditions that emerged amid the global outbreak of the Coronavirus.
We decided to dedicate ourselves to collecting and spreading, stories of cities and citizens around the world. Instead of echoing dystopian images of abandoned streets that dominated the media, we wanted to empower citizens to share their experiences and reflections in their cities on lockdown. The website went live on 16 March 2020, soon followed by social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We operate strictly non-profit. We are students and graduates of the 4CITIES Erasmus Mundus master's in Urban Studies.