I’ve written more than once about how we often deal with cities and communities as though they were separate, unrelated systems — physical development, technology, demographics, etc. — as though they were separate systems, simplyfying or ignoring how the issues that we know or intrinsically care about are tangled up with and impacted by everything else. Which makes it easier on our brains, but at the cost of actually understanding or being able to effectively solve problems. Kind of not a great tradeoff.
Late last year I was asked to review and give feedback on a report created by Demos Helsinki, a Nordic-focused think tank that examines an extraordinary array of issues relating to changes in businesses, societies and communities. The report is called Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption: a Novel Way to Redevelop Cities. Here’s what I wrote about it, which is included in a series of testimonials from experts worldwide:
The Smart Retro Communities Report accomplishes what very few publications anywhere have: it connects existing built environments, new economic and community models and digital technology, and it traces through how we can use them together across macro-to-micro scale initiatives to address the challenges of the 21st century. An eye-opener for me, and a report that I’ll be sharing widely.
The report is quite straightforward, very easy to follow, well designed and really insightful — and useful for anyone interested in improving the future of cities, not just in Scandanavian countries. Check it out. My deep thanks to Demos Helsinki for the opportunity!