We can't know for sure when or where the next crisis will hit -- only that it will. But despite these certainties, most cities are woefully unprepared to manage these shocks. Now is the time to help cities build resilience.
Systems in the U.S. that we always thought were going to produce more opportunities for the next generation than they did for the last no longer do so. Many believe that our ability to solve complex problems and make hard choices is broken.
"They're bad for the environment!" "They can't be recycled!" "They will cause your arches to collapse!" I began to see cruel Facebook posts about them. One particularly heartbreaking one went something like this: "Wow, that's a nice looking pair of Crocs. Said No One Ever."
I'm a member of GOOD, the worldwide community of people who give a damn. We are pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress. And today, I am excited to share the first holiday of the GOOD community: on April 27, we celebrate Neighborday all around the world.
Unfortunately, we cannot just take down cities and rebuild them, add more capacity in public transports, or create more physical space. The only thing we can do is become better at how we manage them. And the way we do it is simply by predicting what will happen.
For the millions of youth living in slums, daily life can be grim. Kids start their lives on poverty's front lines, without access to education, infrastructure or sanitation. They are subject to hunger and disease, and are thrust prematurely into adult responsibilities.
Lintner admits that she does judge folks by their accent when she travels, but in a good way. "I trust someone with an authentic accent," she says, "because they're probably natives -- and so they know the best hidden places to go."
Now more than ever, business and industry are dependent upon an economic system that rewards innovation. But to have innovation, you also need creativity; and a creative and innovative community is vital to that effort.
Whether due to resource constraints, capacity constraints, lack of urban planning and management, or lack of political will, many cities struggle to keep up with the increasing demand of an exploding urban population.
As an architect, I've lived, worked and traveled to different cities around the country. But as these urban centers change and grow and as I stand witness to it all, I can only wonder: What are our visions for these future cities?
As much as my sons delight in the tree, sometimes I daydream about less bedraggled alternatives. Instead of accidental, what if our view had been planned and purposeful? In its place could be something more pleasing. Imagine the space of a single street tree transformed into a small-scale woodland.