Chapter Five: Nighttime Governance in Times of Covid

Through its sudden absence, nightlife has been put on the agenda. 

Chapter five explores how the growing field of nighttime governance has not only become essential during the pandemic, but has also been accelerated, with many cities’ nightlife industries opening up new channels of communication with the government, thanks to a raised awareness of the high demand for leisure and culture, and their relevance as agents in the long-term recovery and reactivation of cities.

These are just some of the questions answered in Chapter 5 of the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP) series, which draws on expertise, perspectives and case studies from nightlife communities across the world, to provide inspiration and information to nightlife industries as they recover from Covid-19. 

“I see my role as bringing a new perspective to an existing discussion that will help people understand that the vibe of Helsinki not only comes from building apartments, but also from preserving local culture” — Salla Vallius, Night Liaison, Helsinki

The chapter presents a step-by-step toolkit to establishing night governance, and case studies from five cities that have recently created their own institutions to govern life at night: Montreal, Helsinki, Tokyo, Vilnius and Melbourne. 

What these cities have in common is that many of their nighttime institutions were either created right before or in the context of the pandemic, or have been reconfigured to respond to the challenges and difficulties posed by the crisis. These examples show that solidarity and cooperation between stakeholders—both state and non-state as well as academia and civil society organisations—are more vital than ever.

“While bureaucratic changes tend to be grandiose, it is important to also encourage small, and sometimes incremental changes, which can be critical in supporting new nightlife initiatives.” – Gleb Divov, creative community advocate in Vilnius, Lithuania

We now invite you to…

Download and read GNRP chapters 1 – 5 here. 

Circulate the GNRP within your social network and get it seen by those who can make a difference.


NÁNDOR PETROVICS – Corvinus University of Budapest (Budapest, Hungary) ??

ANDREINA SEIJAS – Night Tank (Washington DC, USA) ??

ROBERT CATHERALL – University of Toronto, Syncopate Consulting (Toronto, Canada) ??

JESS REIA – McGill University (Montréal, Canada) ??

WILL STRAW – McGill University (Montréal, Canada) ??

GLEB DIVOV – Republic of Užupis, FAYR Ecosystem (Vilnius, Lithuania) ??

MATHIEU GRONDIN – MTL 24/24 (Montréal, Canada) ??

KANA ITO – Japan Nighttime Economy Association (Tokyo, Japan) ??

TAK UMEZAWA – A.T. Kearney (Tokyo, Japan) ??

SALLA VALLIUS – City of Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland) ??

MICHELE ACUTO – Connected Cities Lab, University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia) ??

SHELBY BASSETT – Connected Cities Lab, University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia) ??

Arrange interviews with any of the contributors, or book a consultation session with VibeLab, by contacting us at