Mapping COVID-19’s potential infection risk based on land use characteristics: A case study of commercial activities in two Egyptian cities.

Publication date: Jan 30, 2024

The contagious COVID-19 has recently emerged and evolved into a world-threatening pandemic outbreak. After pursuing rigorous prophylactic measures two years ago, most activities globally reopened despite the emergence of lethal genetic strains. In this context, assessing and mapping activity characteristics-based hot spot regions facilitating infectious transmission is essential. Hence, our research question is: How can the potential hotspots of COVID-19 risk be defined intra-cities based on the spatial planning of commercial activity in particular? In our research, Zayed and October cities, Egypt, characterized by various commercial activities, were selected as testbeds. First, we analyzed each activity’s spatial and morphological characteristics and potential infection risk based on the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) criteria and the Kriging Interpolation method. Then, using Google Mobility, previous reports, and semi-structured interviews, points of interest and population flow were defined and combined with the last step as interrelated horizontal layers for determining hotspots. A validation study compared the generated activity risk map, spatial COVID-19 cases, and land use distribution using logistic regression (LR) and Pearson coefficients (rxy). Through visual analytics, our findings indicate the central areas of both cities, including incompatible and concentrated commercial activities, have high-risk peaks (LR = 0. 903, rxy = 0. 78) despite the medium urban density of districts, indicating that urban density alone is insufficient for public health risk reduction. Health perspective-based spatial configuration of activities is advised as a risk assessment tool along with urban density for appropriate decision-making in shaping pandemic-resilient cities.

Concepts Keywords
Genetic Commercial activity
Google COVID-19
Interviews Hot spots
October Human behavior
Pandemic Infection risk
Points of interest
Urban planning


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH infection
disease VO population

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