Cities are about people. Whenever we improve the human experience, we improve the city. Whenever we ignore it, we make things worse.
Cities serve people by fostering interactions, both planned and unplanned, among individuals, their ideas, and their creations. Whenever cities are divided—by wealth, race, or any other factor—their people suffer.
Cities are engines of opportunity. They are the most effective tool humanity has for lifting people out of poverty, and for enjoying a high quality of life without destroying our planet.
The inherent power of cities is that they are shared, which helps everyone achieve a level of productivity, efficiency, and savings that we can never achieve as individuals.
Cities thrive when they adapt along with the needs of their citizens, which change constantly but gradually.
Openness to newcomers—which celebrates equity, inclusion, and diversity—is what keeps even the oldest cities moving forward.
Cities work best when their diversity is anchored by a shared set of values. These can vary from city to city, giving each one its unique character.
Coordination Without Control
Cities require coordinated actions among people, whether to manage congestion or to preserve public safety. But the most effective coordination is not just top-down; rather, it balances inclusiveness, efficiency, innovation, and preservation.
July 1, 2015