What makes a park a park? Ordinarily, that might be a question for a New York dinner party. Today, it is an urgent legal question before the New York Court of Appeals. As a Villager, I'm naturally concerned that any of our local parks could be wiped out to make way for more construction. Overall, our city is park-starved.
Around the global south, cities struggle to provide electricity and energy to all their residents, and unsurprisingly, the poorest residents are most likely to remain disconnected from formal power systems. Many of the same cities also face an immense garbage challenge: what to do with overwhelming amounts of unsanitary and even toxic waste.
Today's urbanist may also see a future gondola station, a walkable destination, or the potential for sustaining natural pockets amid the built environment. But what compels such vision? I'll take a leap of faith here, in order to put a modern gloss on the human imagination that conceived the edge of the earth in Italy, long ago.