March 13, 2012 - Uncertainty and anxiety are ubiquitous nowadays. The global economy remains fragile, and even where it does show some life, the continued volatility (and upward trajectory) of energy and other commodity prices is there to beat back any real sense of momentum.
Meanwhile, progress on grand challenges like climate change, food and water security, and sustainable consumption is either halting or nonexistent, and there is declining confidence that large institutions, including governments, multilateral organizations, companies and even large NGOs, will lead the way in addressing them.
That’s the general feeling at the global level, and across many countries. But look through the prism of cities and you get the feeling of a different world, one that is every bit as challenging and complex, but also potentially more vibrant, innovative and collaborative; a place where there is a greater sense of what’s possible rather than inevitable.
Cities are where we build our most ambitious and symbolic structures, where we come together to share experiences and exchange capital, goods and ideas, and where we go in search of a better life. At the city level, more so than at the regional or global level, citizens are more likely to share and shape one another’s values and aspirations, and to be able to act together in response to both challenges and opportunities. read more>>>