Note — May 23, 2021

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

Seen in → No.174

Source →

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.