- Our understanding of cities is also changing.
As we do more research,
as we gain more knowledge,
as we experience different cities,
hopefully our understanding of cities is also in flight.
The most cutting-edge ideas,
the most exciting work in urbanism
is being done by non-profits.
I think the reason they can be so incredibly cutting-edge,
and I think we need to work with them,
support them, enhance them,
is because they don't take the system as a given
and they realize in the end
what has to change is the system.
Right now it's very fashionable to think about
the smart city, the sustainable city,
the green city, the resilient city.
The sustainable city,
which I think is a very low standard,
sustainably basically says do no harm.
I think we should go back and fix things,
we should radically improve things,
not have such low standards.
What is urbanism?
I think that's the wrong question to ask.
So the what is question
focuses on the status quo,
focuses on the present.
It does not focus on the future.
The other problem with the what is question
is we settle for very narrow,
professionally defined definitions.
So what I'm suggesting is the most powerful thing we can do
is to ask a powerful question,
what can urbanism be is future oriented.
You can make it anything you want,
and it is more problematic,
because there's no clear answer.
What that means is we can reinvent urbanism
and we can transform cities.