Innovation in the ‘New Normal’ Interactions, the Urban Space, and the Low Touch Economy: The Case of Rio de Janeiro in the Context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Diego Santos Vieira de Jesus, Daniel Kamlot, Veranise Jacubowski Correia Dubeux


The aim of this paper is to examine how innovation was implemented in the city of Rio de Janeiro, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, regarding the “new normal” interactions, the urban space and the low touch economy. The main argument indicates that the use of new information and communication technologies to interact with others allowed people to develop social and emotional ties in the light of health precautions. Although many of these precautions were ignored by people using the urban space, some people made new uses of the open natural spaces in Rio de Janeiro to release anxiety and depressive feelings, but the city still faces problems regarding the privatization of public spaces. In the light of the development of the low touch economy, innovation was necessary for many companies to overcome obstacles such as broken relationships with customers, the instant drop in demand, the constraints in supply and production, the political instability and the cash-flow/financial constraints. These solutions included the improvement of the logistic process and alternative branding, the switch to a similar but digital/remote service and the creation of products for other needs of the existing clients.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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