A dismantled post office destroys more than mail service

Patty Heyda, associate professor of urban design and architecture, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

The U.S. Postal Service is under threat of collapse and privatization. This comes after years of federal political maneuvering that has effectively depleted revenues and staffing – issues now amplified by new cuts to overtime worker pay and slowed delivery.

This matters now more than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, and ahead of November elections when many Americans anticipate voting by mail in order to stay safe.

But the impacts of degrading the USPS go beyond simply making mail service less reliable and hindering the ability of Americans to fairly exercise their right to vote.

As an urban designer and scholar of American cities, I have long witnessed the effects that these kinds of intentional public sector degradations have on the social and physical fabric of American cities.

The post office shapes American public and private life in cities and towns, large and small. A dismantled USPS erodes American social ties, neighborhoods and even families.

Read the full story in The Conversation.