Note — May 23, 2021

We’re Going to Radically Transform Our Cities — or Abandon Them

At The Science of Fiction, Maddie Stone combines lessons from the past in Annalee Newitz’s Four Lost Cities and prospective ideas of the futures from the anthology Cities of Light: A Collection of Solar Futures to consider how our cities might transform, grow, or disappear, in the transitions off fossil fuel amidst the climate crisis.

Cities, like biological organisms, are in a constant state of evolution, reinventing themselves, growing in new directions, or dying out in response to both societal shifts and climate change. […]

“It took me a while to appreciate the fact that a capitalist city as we know it... is a sub-genre of city,” Newitz told The Science of Fiction. “There are many, many examples of trade cities and port cities, but not all cities do that. And in fact, a significant part of what cities do for us is not countable. It’s something spiritual, or communal, or political.” […]

But what we build instead may be every bit as interesting and vibrant, whether that’s a densely packed, car-free, AI-optimized solar city or a vast constellation of lithium battery-powered caravans that migrate with the shifting seasons.