Liberation Squares

In the ninth installment of A Country of Cities, Vishaan examines the protests unfolding across the Middle East in terms of how urban space can enhance or prohibit social change.

Sinking ARC

We all of course know the story of Noah’s Ark -- of massive floods sent by a disgusted God to wipe out our corrupted civilization except for Noah, who, with his family, builds an Ark to save pairs of animals to eventually repopulate the planet. The contemporary take on the story has some new twists.

Never in this Country

Xenophobia. Unfunded entitlements. Anti-immigrant zeal. More retirees than workers. Crumbling infrastructure. Failing schools. Threats to burn books. Taken together, our national ailments have shaken my belief in a Country of Cities. I have argued on these pages that density and infrastructure, and the diverse ecology they engender, can lead us out of this recession to a greener, leaner nation...

Spill, Baby, Spill

As oil spills into the Gulf, blood spills in the streets of Greece, and cash spills from terrorist wallets into the hands of willing airline agents, one wonders who can clean up this mess. We tell our children to clean up after themselves, but can we? Disciplining a child is a perilous affair, but in the end self-discipline is the challenge. Self-discipline requires introspection, but how much of it can we muster in a world careening towards 9 billion people?

To LEED is Human; to Lead, Divine

Vishaan Chakrabarti takes Jaime Lerner's transformation of Curitiba as a powerful call to action for designers to initiate change in architectural, ecological, political and urban terms.

Double Down on Density

Vishaan Chakrabarti responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Address and considers how heightened investment in the Infrastructure of Tomorrow could be our silver bullet.

Being Dense about Denmark

Vishaan Chakrabarti imagines a city-focused national strategy to make our country healthy, prosperous and green, in response to the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks.