“Town and country must be married and out of this joyous union will spring a new hope, a new life, a new civilization.”
— Ebenezer Howard, 1898”

All cities must evolve over time. Those that fail to do so end up, at best, like Venice, Vienna, or Florence: lifestyle and tourist hubs. Read more

Canada and the U.S. are Not Systemically Racist — and the Numbers Prove It

As we talk about the future, we also need to confront the past. History, with all its complexities, defines our civilization, creating both cautionary tales and forging a common identity, which is particularly critical for relatively young and highly diverse countries.

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The Ghost of Ancient Rome Haunts America

The death of Ancient Rome wasn’t so much a collapse as a slow, interminable decay: between the second and sixth centuries AD, its population declined from a million people to just 30,000. Since then, 15 centuries have passed and thousands of cities have been built. And yet, as Rome’s greatest chronicler Edward Gibbon warned in 1776, a similar fate awaits our modern metropolises. This time, however, their decline will radically alter our perception of what “urbanism” really means.

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The Future of Cities: Recalibrating Expectations: Lessons From Youngstown, Ohio

As Youngstown, Ohio lost its industrial base, it faced long-term effects from disinvestment and globalization – and a need for economic renewal. What lessons did the city learn, and can they be applied elsewhere?

Are Asians the New Jews?

In countries where Asians and Jews immigrated in large numbers, they have long followed a common path. Both groups occupy a dual position: discriminated against for standing out, while at the same time held up as models of success. Read more

The Future of Cities: Africa’s Urban Future

The urban future in the coming decades will be largely an African one. Now home to 12 of the world’s largest cities and four megacities; Africa has the world’s fastest-growing urban population.

The Fall of the Jewish Gangster

Antisemitism has always partly been driven by envy; Jews attract a unique resentment for their disproportionate intellectual achievements in literature, science, education and, particularly, finance. At the same time, however, this success can be inverted. Historian Fred Siegel calls this “the flip side of cleverness”, a tendency among some to apply their minds to illegal activities.

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The Future of Cities: The Future of Chinese Cities

China represents the cutting edge of 21st century urbanism. The successes and failures of Chinese cities will shape global perceptions of city life, not only in that country but around the world.

The Philanthropy Threat

Throughout history, excess wealth has been used to salve society’s problems, funding hospitals, food banks, and building libraries to develop minds and cathedrals to lift the spirits. But increasingly, the charitable urge has shifted away from such worthy causes and, increasingly, reflects a distinct progressive agenda that seeks, ultimately, to transform lives through the expansion of state power. Read more

The Future of Cities: The Future of the Big American City Is Not Bright

As COVID-19 begins to wane and become endemic, the question for policymakers, theorists, and Americans at large is: What is in store for our nation’s big cities? Please return weekly to read each chapter as it is published.