Liberalism: where did it come from and are its days numbered?

SHORT FILM

Open Future, The Economist, 17 April 2018

Liberalism has been the dominant political philosophy in the West for more than 200 years. Populists say liberals are too elite and are out of touch with ordinary people. Here’s what you need to know about liberalism and its place in modern society.


For more from The Economist and their Open Future project, click here.

The biggest risks facing cities – and some solutions

TALK

Robert Muggah, TED Talk, September 2017

It’s a small opportunity but a golden one: in the next 10 to 20 years, to really start designing in principles of resilience into our cities. There’s not one single way of doing this, but there are a number of ways that are emerging. And I’ve spoken with hundreds of urban planners, development specialists, architects and civic activists, and a number of recurring principles keep coming out. I just want to pass on six.

First: cities need a plan and a strategy to implement it. I mean, it sounds crazy, but the vast majority of world cities don’t actually have a plan or a vision. 

Second: you’ve got to go green. Cities are already leading global decarbonization efforts.

Third: invest in integrated and multi-use solutions. The most successful cities are those that are going to invest in solutions that don’t solve just one problem, but that solve multiple problems.

Next, fourth: build densely but also sustainably. The death of all cities is the sprawl. Cities need to know how to build resiliently, but also in a way that’s inclusive.

Fifth: steal. The smartest cities are nicking, pilfering, stealing, left, right and center. They don’t have time to waste.

And finally: work in global coalitions. You know, there are more than 200 inner-city coalitions in the world today. There are more city coalitions than there are coalitions for nation-states.


To learn more about Robert Muggah, his work on evidence based urban policy and data visualisations, visit the Igarapé Institute here and SecDev here.

RECENT POST

Why 80% of Singaporeans live in government-built flats

ARTICLE

The Economist, 6 July 2017

Today there are about 1m HDB apartments, largely clustered in two dozen new towns that extend in a semicircle around the city’s coastal core. Each year the government sells a fresh batch of as-yet-unbuilt flats, predominantly to first-time buyers. They all come with 99-year leases and are sold at lower-than-market prices, though successful applicants must wait three or four years for their blocks to be completed. Alternatively Singaporeans can choose to buy existing HDB apartments directly from their owners, at whatever price buyer and seller can agree. First- and second-time buyers get money through government grants, regardless of whether they buy new or old flats. Quotas ensure that the mix of Chinese, Indians and Malays in each HDB block reflects the ethnic make-up of the country as a whole, a measure designed to preclude the formation of racial enclaves.


For another article about Singapore HDB program, see ‘“But what about Singapore?” Lessons from the best public housing program in the world‘ from the World Bank’s website.

The New Urban Crisis

PODCAST

Andrew Tuck, Monocle, 4 May 2017

Special interview: Richard Florida

Our cities have become small little areas of concentrated wealth and advantage for the global super rich, for knowledge workers, for the members of my own creative class. It’s not just the 1%, it’s about a third of us who can make a go, but then the other two thirds, falling further and further behind and surrounding these areas of concentrated advantage much larger spans of concentrated disadvantage, and those are not only in the city, what’s so interesting about The New Urban Crisis, that’s spread out to what we used to think of as the great affluent suburbs, so it really is a new geographic divide in our society, and that divide is not only causing inequality it’s causing this terrible backlash.


To visit Richard Florida’s website click here, for an article from The Guardian about his previous thesis on The Creative Class and it’s relationship to The New Urban Crisis click here, and for a longer discussion of The New Urban Crisis with the LSE Cities Ricky Burdett click here.

Machiavelli’s advice for nice guys

ARTICLE / SHORT FILM

10 Feb 2017

And so, proposed Machiavelli, the secret to being effective lies in overcoming all vestiges of this story. The Prince was not, as is often thought, a guide to being a tyrant; it’s a guide about what nice people should learn from tyrants. It’s a book about how to be effective, not just good. It’s a book haunted by examples of the impotence of the pure.


For another article and short film from The School of Life on Niccolò Machiavelli and his ideas click here.

RECENT POST

Participatory Budgeting: What are Parisians dreaming about?

ARTICLE

PB Network, 24 Jan 2017

Launched in 2014, Paris implements a successful method of citizen participation. Ideas are developed and submitted on an Internet platform by residents or groups of residents. In 2015, Parisians submitted over 5,000 projects. In 2014, the first year of its operation, over 40,000 Parisians chose 9 winning projects at a cost of 17,7 million €.


To learn more about Participatory Budgeting in the USA click here, and in the UK click here.

How Cities Work

BOOK

James Gulliver Hancock, Lonely Planet Kids, 2016

City Living. The next time you’re in a big city, look around you. Do all the buildings and houses look the same? Many cities around the world are hundreds of years old, and contain lots of different types of architecture. 

Ten things you need to know about the New Urban Agenda

ARTICLE

Lucinda Hartley, Landscape Australia, 24 Oct 2016

The New Urban Agenda represents a paradigm shift in global thinking, recognising what professionals have perhaps understood for some time: that our future is urban. From gender-equity to youth-empowerment, participatory planning to inclusive public space, The New Urban Agenda sets a high benchmark for the type of urban development we should strive for and a global accountability framework for achieving it. Its catch-cry to “leave no one behind” commits to reducing urban inequality. This is a challenge that we can take up and apply to every city and neighbourhood.


For UN Habitat‘s New Urban Agenda whiteboard video click here.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. 

Peter Drucker, management consultant 

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

John Adams, second President of the United States

We measure what we care about.

Jan Gehl, urbanist

In God we trust. Everyone else bring data.

Mike Bloomberg, mayor