You are reading the last post of a series “Your Mayor for President”, whose rough logic goes like this: We live in the era of the cities, so mayors are increasingly significant. On the other hand, austerity policies in Europe have provoked an earthquake in recent municipal Spanish elections, rising former 15M protesters very close to take the Mayor seat in Madrid, Barcelona or Zaragoza, three of the main Spanish cities. Since the political structures supporting Manuela Carmena (Madrid), Ada Colau (Barcelona) or Pedro Santisteve (Zaragoza) are the assemblies, or ‘circles’, we can infer that active citizens will more than ever influence the ‘big’ decisions. So, up to a certain point, ‘you’, reader, are increasingly significant in the global sphere. Now that it’s up to you to decide how you run innovation in, say… Barcelona, what do we do with the Mobile World Congress? Continue reading
Jaime Lerner, architect, planner and former mayor of Curitiba (Brazil), coined the term urban acupuncture to define the planning and execution of small urban interventions capable of healing the complex organism that a city is.
If it is true that we live the era of cities, then mayors will be more influential in the coming years in the global governance arena. The combined success of cities and political influence of mayors reflect the fact that cities, nowadays, are an engine of economic growth and source opportunities to contribute to the solution of a great portion of the problems that challenge our societies.
Well planned and managed, cities can guarantee development, environmental sustainability, social cohesion and democratic improvement. The critical mass of talent, capital and people that a city holds is a unique combination that countries can not afford to waste. In the era of globalization and technification, cities are becoming world global players, an extended, internet version of the ancient greek “polis”. Polis 2.0. Continue reading
The fate of our cities is not written anywhere: the would languish, flourish or collapse. What is indeed written, and documented, and nonetheless it is a matter of common sense, is that all cities possess a principal asset to face whatever challenge (environmental, social or economic) they confront: people. And through people there comes ideas. And if we add talent to good ideas they will be likely to materialize in projects of entrepreneurship. Now, let’s add a minimum of infrastructures, services and access to capital and we will have economic development and employment, and through them, taxes and good public services. And thanks to the public services we have better education (more talented people), equal opportunities, more safety and better quality of life. It all begins, then, by the city: its people and its ideas. Continue reading