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    Sep 19 2013: I think we gotta think first in the very definition of "sustainable" to answer that question. Do you mean a sustained growth of the cities or an intelligent management of the local resources to create a balanced system with a steady-state economy? As you know there is a huge contradiction between how economy works (infinite exponential growth) and how our planet can regrow its finite resources (pretty slow if you compare).

    Once we understand that you will see the big need of distributed-efficient high-quality durable and modular technologies (like those created by Open Source Ecology or Open Tech Forever), we also should create a new for of pricing for things, a form that considers every natural item as it is, that rewards the most efficient technics (in terms of thermodynamics or so), we need to end with the fallacy of work for income. Tech will create enough abundance and not everyone will be able to have a well paid job. It's also safier to use technology.

    We also might want to change our focus from irrational economic growth to something like the ecuadorian concepto of Sumak Kawsay (Good Living), where the final goal is a better life (there are many different ways to measure this right now.

    Well, I just wanted to break the ice :)
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      Sep 19 2013: I'll take a very broad definition and just say sustainable means capable of surviving in the long term. I know this dodges a lot of nuanced issues, but it would include concerns like: is the city destroying the natural systems on which it depends? We certainly need to distance ourselves from the "grow or die" logic of economics, but we also need to embrace the idea that we don't get to a city that will survive if more than half of the residents live in unplanned settlement without basic services, disconnected from the economic mainstream. Kind of a socio-economic prerogative--we need everybody to contribute and to share in the bounty.

      There is a technical challenge--how can we close the energy, food, water, etc. loops in the larger geography around the city (its footprint) to maintain the city's existence. In my experience, we seem to be much better at overcoming technical challenges than we are at overcoming social obstacles. Good Living seems like a good place to start.
    • Sep 20 2013: You have to consider the utopian and dystopian aspects of technology. Please consider that technology is a dependent variable on the governance system and this system is often used to destroy jobs:
      Example (a): http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/business/us-textile-factories-return.html
      Example (b): http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519241/report-suggests-nearly-half-of-us-jobs-are-vulnerable-to-computerization/?utm_campaign=socialsync&utm_medium=social-post&utm_source=facebook
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      Sep 21 2013: 。HI, Jorge,

      You are right:

      (1)City itself can not be sustainable.
      (2)Economic growth gives us invalid (harmful) happiness.

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