TED Conversations

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  • Sep 21 2013: Here are some building blocks for any discussion about creating green, sustainable cities:

    1) Video of Barry Commoner: http://www.nytimes.com/video/2012/10/01/us/1194834005471/last-word-barry-commoner.html#1194834005471

    2) Lewis Mumford:
    http://ww2.odu.edu/ao/instadv/quest/CityAsCommunity.html

    3) Paul and Percival Goodman, Communitas:
    http://archive.org/details/communitasmeanso010751mbp

    4) Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems:
    http://law.gsu.edu/jjuergensmeyer/spring2013/Cities%20as%20Sustainable%20Ecosystems.Newman-Jennings.pdf
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      Sep 21 2013: RE: "There can be higher crime rates in certain . . . ". I agree. How does that bear on the validity of the two assesrtions I am challenging? I don't agree with your insinuation that it is reductionism to say that urban crime rates are higher than rural crime rates, or that some of the population growth between now and 2050 will be in rural areas.
      • Sep 21 2013: It is important to not essentialize density. Cities can be re-invented. Also, cities are not the same. You can come up with all the data you would like, the key issue is variation among different kinds of cities. That provides a solution, e.g. an independent variable driven by an anomalous case, for example. If different cities have different crime rates, the city managers do things differently, the economic and social conditions vary, etc. Figure out that variation. I don't like Chinese de-population, de-urbanization drive. It sounds like a consumerist fetishism. What about sustainable agriculture, so I don't disagree with any argument that also points to rural population growth.
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          Sep 21 2013: Thank you. Sustainable agriculture will certainly play an important role in restoring my nation (the USA) to its prior levels of sustainability. That seems to indicate a commensuate growth in rural population. As for the alleged exceptions to the rule of Big City=Big Crime Rate, I think it is wise to examine those exceptions, but unwise to deny the reality of the rule itself.

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