Short-Term resilience and transformation of urban socioenvironmental systems to COVID-19 lockdowns in India using air quality as proxy

Jagriti Jain, Francisco Muñoz Arriola, Deepak Khare

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The COVID-19 pandemic has inarguably altered our livelihoods, shifting our socioenvironmental systems to previous or new states that are unclearly stable. In India, as in many places worldwide, a nationwide lockdown was implemented on March 24, 2020, as a preventive step to slowdown the spread of COVID-19. In urban socioenvironmental systems like Navi Mumbai, evidence of change in flora and fauna and the uneven death toll has responded to gained or lost functionalities within a short period attributed to the local-to-global lockdown policies. Our goal is to build an urban socioenvironmental resilience framework to assess shortterm resilience within the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesize that air quality (AQ) and air quality indices (AQI) synthesize the spatiotemporal functionalities associated with the shortterm resilience of the Navi Mumbai urban socioenvironmental system (NAMUSS) in the state of Maharashtra, India. The objectives are to (1) characterize the changes in AQ and AQI based on nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter during the prelockdown, lockdown, and postlockdown phases in the NAMUSS and India; and (2) to quantify socioenvironmental resilience (and use the functionalities to propose actions) in NAMUSS-based on the resilience matrix approach. Station data results confirm a decrease in AQ and AQIs for the NAMUSS. The antagonisms in the critical functionalities were identified in NAMUSS between environmental and social drivers of resilience. Finally, a conceptualization of short-term resilience for the social and environmental systems and the respective metrics and matrices of performance scores are proposed for NAMUSS. Since the city remains in a lockdown phase, the recovery and adaptation stages will continue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Resilience and Transformation in times of COVID-19
Subtitle of host publicationClimate Change Effects on Environmental Functionality
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780323855129
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Air quality
  • COVID-19
  • Resilience
  • Resilience matrix
  • Urban socio-environmental system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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