On the Front Lines of the Future: New Orleans, Detroit, Phoenix

What do New Orleans, Detroit, and Phoenix all have in common? Each one has confronted some of our most pressing challenges of our time and has a lesson of survival to teach us.

In a long read reprinted from the National Associates Committee journal Forward, Wellington Reiter, FAIA chronicles the afflictions and collected wisdom of the "New Big Three."

"With plenty of evidence to support their claims, they can speak authoritatively on the impacts of aging infrastructure (New Orleans), economic globalization (Detroit), and climate change (Phoenix). They also share social, financial, and educational inequities that are a drag on their respective futures and the nation as a whole. As such, they are important vitality indicators and reflective of the most critical issues of our time."

Full Story: The New Big Three: New Orleans, Detroit, Phoenix



Mythical vs. scientific living

Wonderful read and news alert. I think it was William Barrett who said it's impossible for humans to live scientifically -- we can only live mythically. And so we must try harder.
Although I grew up in Detroit, I applaud your inclusion of a critical water issue city like Phoenix. This issue, of water shortages, is one of the most under-reported and under-discussed stories in the US. (I wonder if Atlanta was your runner-up.)
Two or three years ago, the American Planning Association, of all organizations, held its annual conference in Las Vegas -- and yet, inexplicably, none of its hundreds of conference sessions concerned water shortages in the American West! By contrast, and as an apparent indicator of national planning priorities, that same APA conference presented a half-dozen sessions on adult business zoning issues (to pick a comparatively trivial session subject). That same month, the National Geographic magazine's cover story was about water shortages in the western US.

Mythical Associations.

Yes, it is safe to say the APA is not on the front lines of the future, either.



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