To Make Cities More Sustainable, Let Go of Tradition

To make things right, Metcalf argues inDemocratic by Design, we need to make more and better use of alternative institutions like cooperatives and community land trusts to help build more sustainable, socially responsible, and prosperous communities. Drawing from his experience as an urbanist and one of the founders of the car-sharing movement in North America, Metcalf documents how a range of alternative institutions—which operate outside of traditional government agencies and differ from traditional companies—can help U.S. cities tackle some of the major issues they face today.

To delve deeper into this, I put a series of questions to Metcalf about exactly how he sees these alternative institutions helping to build better and more sustainable cities in the future.

When do alternative institutions actually succeed at becoming the new normal? What is the secret sauce to making that happen?

The idea is to create living examples of a better society, which can be studied, improved on, and hopefully scaled up. The book profiles some very successful examples, but it also tries to look honestly at failures. Based on the case studies, I identify a few key ingredients that are essential for success:

First, organizers have to pick the right institution—something that can work within the world as it is today, while also opening up possibilities for a different world.

Read the full artice at source: Gabriel Metcalf on Designing Sustainable Cities - CityLab