Your mayor for president (2/3). If mayors ruled the world


Jaime Lerner, former mayor of Curitiba (Brazil)

<- Previous. ‘Your mayor for president’ (1/3)

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


How to face globalization (I): what can we expect from cities?

matrixWestern societies, especially in southern Europe, are facing a double crisis: on the one hand, an abrupt economic downturn that, as a consequence of the austerity agenda adopted by the European Union to fight it, has not only been technically aggravated, but has produced the collateral effect of undermining the confidence of the people in their institutions. This has led to a remarkable erosion of the legitimacy of otherwise solid public and private agents such as governments, politic parties, trade unions, banks, media, big companies, justice, etc.

This loss of legitimacy, alongside with the aforementioned economic and social problems, threatens the very foundations of our democracies and should be a primary concern for those who seek to renew our hibernated western societies to face the unstoppable challenges imposed by globalization, all without losing our identity of wide civil rights and strong democratic principles. Continue reading