ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : OnCities

(ReadWith) StartupCities, GeekCities

PaulRomer's idea for cities built in the DevelopingWorld according to Western capitalist RuleSets :

  • aim to improve development in those countries (by offering better environment for economic growth)
  • reduce emigration from those countries to, eg. Europe, USA

Links :


  • It's neo-colonialism.
  • It will inevitably have to be imposed on some people with violence

MarkLutter interview

"We don't want NIMBYism" says the guy.

OTOH, "it's gotta be good for the existing residents".

Well that's cool then. I wonder why no-one thought of squaring that circle before. :-/

And the truth is, if you can't solve this problem in existing cities, asking for a nice blank slate without the problems, is a bit of a red-flag that you don't really know how to address them at all.

The moment there are 100 residents in a new city who have been there for a year, they're gonna become judgemental about the next people coming in. And they'll throw all their wealth and power into trying to keep the city the way they like it.

Once you have a great view of the sea from your new house, last thing you want is anyone building something new to block it. So you'll advocate for building codes to stop that. What about spoiling the view with an access road that used to be a line of trees? Nope.

Or bringing the price of your house down by building cheaper ones down the road and putting a strain on local amenities? Again, no-way.

Interesting point about Zuzalu. Clearly that's touch-point for this generation. But isn't it really just a standard inspiring summer-school / conference. The energy is what most people get from going to college (when college works). The best reading of this guy is that he's really just the new generation of CreativeClass ... wanting to make cities nice in the belief that this is also economically bountiful. Some of what he says sounds pretty like that. (I mean with extra "ProgressStudies discourse")

I'd probably like him if I met him socially.

What's annoying is the blithe way he keeps talking about "just have to get the organization right" when considering problems that are so hard they've stumped city planners and designers since Plato's Republic.

I mean he's all like, "maybe we'll make it attractive by making the streets safe". Yeah, meanwhile my social media is increasingly filling up with right-wing pro-car nuts claiming that 15 minute cities are concentration camps imposed by the New World Order. What's he gonna do when that discourse starts infecting the residents of his chartered utopia?

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