Successful global urbanization could lead to a profoundly-changed world in just a few decades, where age-old human problems of extreme poverty, famine, disease and conflict would be greatly alleviated -- if not eradicated.
Last month, in Moustiers Sainte Marie, France, I watched several shopkeepers return a lost young bird to a part of town closer to its natural habitat. This small drama was a play of few acts, but reflected a pattern of human conduct embedded in urban life.
Green buildings are mainstream now, and green infrastructure is advancing. Indeed, some progressive institutions believe it is time to begin installing "net-positive" buildings that produce more sustainable energy and water than they consume, and that generate no net waste.
Establishing community land trusts and working with municipal land banks to meet ambitious affordable housing goals on the edges of these growth districts is the only surefire way to stave off displacement, hipster monoculture and extreme wealth disparity.
At Localeur, we've discovered some leading indicators on what is important in making a city great through the eyes of a millennial traveler, and these attributes can be applied to any city in the world.
Whether you live in Portland, Oregon, Asheville, North Carolina, Oakland, California, or some place so cool we haven't even heard of it yet, be on the lookout for these telltale signs that your city's becoming a boomtown.
Here in the US, we're going to be growing, and growing a lot: How we manage that growth will affect everything from how healthy our economy will be to how nourished and happy we will be as people to, yes, how healthy the future of our planet is.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To preserve public health, the destiny of our cities and our own sanity, we must learn to regard nature as sustainers, not as consumers. We can start by planting trees.
"I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you this, but do what you love. You'll always need to make a living, but if you want to be happy -- if for that matter, you want to be successful -- money should never be your biggest goal."
When it comes to sustainability -- at least in the literal sense -- we don't need data to demonstrate the performance of older buildings: their continued existence already proves that they have, in fact, been sustained over time.
Any natural connection, no matter how small, can benefit certain species. But before a design is made, a thorough understanding of local, regional, and migrating species should be acknowledged and addressed in the design of a project.