If we want to reclaim the control over our cities and societies, we cannot limit our action to the internet, we also need to take to the physical space of urdan environments – the streets and the public squares. This is the revolutionary potential of cities and that’s why I put so much emphasis on it.
Eric Liu is the co-founder and CEO of Citizen University. He also directs the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship & American Identity Program. Eric addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?”
Our descendants may shudder to realize their own grandparents blithely accepted, perhaps even praised, a rigid caste system that offered rich opportunities to a minority while consigning the vast majority to a brutal struggle for mere existence.
Success is not a matter of wishing, however—if it were, beggars would be kings and I would be handsome and rich. Experience and the findings of attitudinal and behavioral research suggests increasing active voter participation requires a better understanding of how people receive, consider and interpret information.
Throughout this trying election season, we’ve been told how much is at stake with our vote. But the success of any democracy depends on continuing to pay attention long after we cast our ballots.
Our society is characterized by great freedom: by ever-growing personal autonomy, a loosening of social and civic bonds, and a diminishing of cultural and religious value systems. But have these things made us more free, more enlightened?
It is time to talk about important things. Why have we come so close to the brink of extinction so carelessly and casually?
A great place is something that everybody can create. If vibrancy is people, as we argued two weeks ago, the only way to make a city vibrant again is to make room for more of them. Today, in the first of a two-part follow up, we will explore how Placemaking, by positioning public spaces at the heart of action-oriented community dialog, makes room both physically and philosophically by re-framing citizenship as an on-going, creative collaboration between neighbors. The result is not merely vibrancy, but equity.