Apr 27 2010

City of the Future

What will Vancouver look like in 2050? Will we serve as a model of sustainability to be emulated around the world? It’s going to take more than just good ideas and innovations in technology; as I report in my latest Granville article, Vancouver in 2050, it may require a redefinition of citizenship in this country.

“Our competitiveness and prosperity are at stake,” said Holland. “This dynamic will have us change the story.”

This is going to take discipline and rewriting of public interests assumptions, he said, suggesting that the capitalist model of our society will not be able to deliver long-term solutions to issues like food supply, transportation, energy and livability.

“We are going to have to redefine citizenship” with a changed focus on obligations and responsibilities, he said.

If cities have to become more sustainable to cope with population growth, we need to be looking at solutions that solve four or five different problems, Johnston says.

Looking at how the city of Chicago has led innovation in this area, he pointed to things like using photovoltaic sidewalks and green roofs that can eat smog, reducing need for lighting, minimizing heat sinks that cause health problems and provide spaces for urban agriculture to improve access to local food supplies.

“We’re not looking for a silver bullet. We need silver buckshot.”

Commentary on the City in 2050: Creating Blueprints for Change

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “City of the Future”

  1. truepeerson 28 Apr 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Chicago, a model? Where politicians are now calling for martial law?

    But that kind of makes your point about citizenship and responsibility. America is so indebted. The huge state system, of which Chicago is a leading client, may soon collapse. What to do facing such a future? Sustainabiilty, it seems to me, begins with thinking how we would respond to a future where we are much more responsible for ruling ourselves, getting things back to normal in the midst of a crisis, in a greater freedom/responsibility created by the bankruptcy/aging of the present form of state welfarism.

  2. jnarveyon 28 Apr 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Well, I think the problems in Chicago might be a bit overstated. I was there last year. Seemed like a swell town to me. Could be a case of out of control political rhetoric, not out of control citizens.

    In total agreement with you about the need to think about a change in how citizenship is viewed and what sorts of responsibilities that entails.

    We need to get beyond today’s model, which may be encapsulated in a paraphrased quote from Fareed Zakaria: “Every politician goes on television and says that the American people don’t want to be lied to, just before they go on to say they can have more services with lower taxes”.

  3. Lon 29 Apr 2010 at 2:44 am

    “This is going to take discipline and rewriting of public interests assumptions, he said, suggesting that the capitalist model of our society will not be able to deliver long-term solutions to issues like food supply, transportation, energy and livability.

    “We are going to have to redefine citizenship” with a changed focus on obligations and responsibilities, he said.”
    ———————

    This is code for “progressives”, socialism and we are running your life. Be especially afraid of the last statement, as they mean obligations to the collectivist goals and obedience.

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