UI Director Professor Beth Perry participated in a symposium “Cities coping with COVID-19 Comparative perspectives” for City: Analysis of Urban Change, Theory Action. The Symposium represents an experimental format within CITY aimed at those communities of practice engaged in urban governance, policy and practice. As such, it provides rapid publication of insights intended to inform ongoing debate and crisis responses as cities everywhere grapple with the profound consequences of the pandemic and its implications for so many facets of urban ‘business as usual’. The article offers comparative perspectives on Manchester, Cape Town, Kisumu, Shimla and Gothenburg.