Here is my semi-random list of potentially decisive urban dynamics.
As metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou become black holes for resources, medium and small-sized cites have encountered difficulties in their development. “The most frustrating part about Tianjin [an industrial city an hour southeast of Beijing] is that we don’t own the resources that commonly exist in first-tier cities – good resources are all taken by Beijing."
11. Wealth is not just the financial wealth of the residents or the tax revenues generated by the tax base. Social and human capital, and the networks that enable flows of information, talent and capital are critical types of capital. We can adapt Bob Dylan's line here: "Those cities not busy being born are busy dying."
12. Cities are ultimately constructed not just of infrastructure and political policy but of incentives and disincentives and individuals who respond to those inputs. In this view, the infrastructure of transit, parks, libraries, etc. and non-material policies and cultural-economic zeitgeist create the incentives and disincentives that people respond to.
Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify or understand. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:
1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism and the elimination of accountability
3. Diminishing returns
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy
Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).
We are not powerless. Not accepting responsibility and being powerless are two sides of the same coin: once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.
Kindle edition: $9.95 print edition: $24 on Amazon.com
To receive a 20% discount on the print edition: $19.20 (retail $24), follow the link, open a Createspace account and enter discount code SJRGPLAB. (This is the only way I can offer a discount.)
|Thank you, David W. ($30), for your supremely generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.||Thank you, Daniel E. ($3), for your much-appreciated contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.|