Dense cities like New York or modestly but intentionally compressed cities such as Portland, Oregon bring ideas into eye contact. A handshake held just long enough to proceed on a shared endeavor. This ability begins in our infancy. Our neural network absorbs sounds and images to form patterns that repeat. Most of them constitute the basis for interpreting everything else, distinguishing new from old, bright from dark, or soft from hard until awareness forms to coordinate all the action required to transmit signals from one part of the body to another. The cognitive aptitude of humanity extends to the form of cities. As such, we need to produce a better image of ourselves. The pitch here is to get allies for density a viable wilderness in low to zero-densities.
The city is an illusion of stasis in its skyline. It changes in the blink of an eye and in billions of ways. Change matters without exception, but as events recur through human will, the meaning of all of it is urbanizing structures from farm to tower matter greatly. Urbanization products can create a false wilderness, but we should not replace the real one.
EBODPM is Si se Puede
The acronym EBODPM is “evidence-based, outcome-driven, and performance measured.” New York City is old and dense and knows this well. It has developed the capacity to rebuild itself while in use. It rebuilds its bridges, tunnels, buildings, and roadways and adds resilience in continually doing so. The skills developed in agreements regarding practices, scheduling, and the innovative use of materials and budgets stand for performance evaluations from day to day and year to year. Retrofit processes sustain a city to keep it vital by meeting short-term productivity demands as it moves to fulfill its residents’ quality of life goals. A vast storehouse of self-renewing human capital is the change that matters now. The capacity to record it all in exquisite detail for the challenges of finding new, well-chosen futures is growing exponentially. We live in exciting times.
The phrase “Si se puede” has a long history. It is the “Yes, we can!” of President Obama’s first presidential campaign. In other lives there was the fierce urgency of saying, “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!”
Imagine a scale, on one side, the value of urbanization and, on the other, a wilderness of equal value. The efficiency on either side of this duality builds on the historical quality of each. The stories recounting the experience of individuals who embrace effective action and replace error with reflection draw on three questions useful for defining actions that affect the impact of urbanization on people and the wild:
- If I am not for containing urban the land area, who will be?
- If I inform myself on this question in solitude, will it make it so?
- If I do not act now, when?
These questions build a personal stance, but they lack mechanisms for change unless the “If I am” (first person) becomes “we will have” (future perfect). Turning an “I” into a “we” will draw recurring trial and error experiences into organizing structures. The main elements are 1) willingly accepted delegations and 2) a widely held (institutional) responsibility for implementation impacts. The lessons are frequent enough to continue execution with confidence. A two-part strategy mobilizes and organizes well but can be weak on post-enactment accountability for lack of belief in failure.
As kids, we learn to swim, but first, we find out how not to sink. Similarly, two structures keep organizing, 1) how we transmit information, and 2) how access to it describes resources to examine questions. Examples are;
- Can massive, small cash chits replace special interest money?
- Can big money be replaced by big organizing?
- Can facts presented by activists sustain truthfulness?
- Can bounded rationality and compromise be useful?
When small groups create and control social structures, the authority is diverse, flexible, open, and temporary. In these consensual participation models, a group may also define itself as “a cell,” carrying very different connotations. The actions of interest groups can be good or bad. Margaret Mead experienced the subtleties of sexism from her profession and in her work. One of her most telling insights was not to doubt small groups’ ability to change the world because that is how it happens. The central challenge is finding ways to ensure a significant number of groups form to create positive change over the number that would sustain negative behaviors such as racism and sexism. Evolution and adaptation to new conditions are fundamental to success.
Introduction to Your Responsibility
The urban world holds the earth is in its palm and probes it with its senses like any other curiosity. Yet, the truth of this possession remains treasured and yet, unclear. The kids who learn the most are the ones who know to share. So, we only ask one thing of you, read, and then share, copy and paste, reveal and continue to steal the contents of this book, all 10,000 of you. Do this to share ideas with your 10,000 and their thousands about things they can do in the hope that common ground and consensus on actions to which agreement is possible (at least somewhat) form the bonds that prevent violence as part of the social order.
It may be possible for people interested in the urban world to speak from a shelter nestled in fifty acres of wooded land. Others might speak from a haven among 40,000 others sharing one acre. Both are part urban, but only one “city-like” and interdependent. Building and living in compact places demands the combined skill of many specialties. Still, none are as important as the quality of information produced and shared upon which people are motivated to act.
Harnessing the electromagnetic spectrum in the 20th century made 21st-century communications fast enough to be clumsy. As a result, the communications transition from low-cost one-to-one conversations to the high cost of one-to-many presentations has become a “many-to-many” exchange of little cost.
The exploration of density is well underway as a “many-to-many” effort filled with pathways to full human potential without damage to others or our host – the earth. The horror of inaction is intolerable. The time for change is now; otherwise, bring on the whimpering.
You already know this is a free book, but the price of “free” in the ideas presented is to get your membership in one of two ideas such as the following:
- Take membership in the idea of a world where the number of people per square mile is low, or very low and you will help it stay low.
- Take membership in an urban world where the number of people per square mile is high, or very high and you will help it grow.
Membership will support a self-sustaining wilderness or a resilient and eventually a city that does no damage. By accepting this initial bifurcation, a dialogue focused on mutual interest begins.
- The role of people adjacent to the wilderness (or in one) has the desire and the resources to keep it touched only by observers and if possible never touched.
- People in dense cities will exhibit the desire and resources to improve the physical and psychological structures of dense urban life continuously.
Develop the traditional five questions 1. who, 2. how, 3. when, 4. why this idea works, and 5. where
The natural world is sustainable; it grows into whatever it needs to become. At best, the urban world is resilient, with a layer of self-awareness capable of predicting the future with the two choices offered here. Take the survey in the Abstract Submission Form and become a member.
Take the prompts, rewrite them, and choose. For example, you may be in a place described in one of the prompts. You may be a regular working person protecting your home and family and have a story to tell. But, instead, you may be a professional in law, medicine, architecture, finance, information technology, and many other forms of work that change how we live and have a strategy to implement.
To dive right in, click here to complete a twenty-question survey. It will assist you in participating in a global community that may not have shared values but retain the right to common interests.
The survey begins with a standard online communication network using prompts. There are multiple prompts with an overlap in the table of contents. (back to table) Here are five.
- The Urban World
- Open Space
- Global Context
- Urban Limits
An ethos of the many will not be comfortable. Social action stimulants tend to aim directly at your spinal cord. The spirit here will require the full engagement of your upper spheres to find alternatives to the hyper-engagement demanded by the clutter of information paraphernalia that surrounds us. Stay with your vision. Recognition and understanding come with patience, dedicated study, teamwork, and unexpected friendships.
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