The future of cities, and backyard fish

As some folks may know, I’m going to grad school to become an urban planner. As I see it, while I think we have the tools necessary to solve some of the great problems which will face humanity over the next three decades we simply are lacking both an understanding of how to use them and the impetus to do so.

I’d liken our situation to that of Adama, Roslin & co. on Battlestar Galactica. We’ll have to fight for our future and yet not lose what makes and keeps us human.

Which is why some of these projects interest me so much…

Masdar City, which is currently being built in Abu Dhabi right now, is a test-project billed as the world’s first post-petroleum city… which is a fascinating idea if nothing else. Jane Jacobs wrote that a fool can put his clothes on far better than a wise man can do so for him, and history has shown that plans to design environments around how people should be using them are often problematic. But the tech nerd in me’s eager to see what else they’ll be using.

Oh, and along with the growing trend in small-scale urban farming initiatives comes Aquaponics, or the practice of growing one’s own fish at home.


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