Is there a misalignment between what we want from cities and what we get? Are cities on a track of sustainability (capacity to endure)?
As was mentioned in ‘the steps to an ecology of mind’, the increase of population and technological progress set us against our environment as an enemy. If we stand on the opposite side to the environment, then what we achieve from the cities will surely exist a misalignment from what we want. Because our economic income or desire is based on the nature resources which have an unknown capacity. And meanwhile, we consume those resources and create even more waste and damage back to the environment. Under such pressure, the cities can’t afford what we need. Instead, the cities may be too overwhelmed to deal with the environmental problems. So what factor can lead to the misalignment between wanting and getting? I think it would be the unbalanced systems between the city and the society circulation. It’s obvious that we all want livable, comfortable and sustainable cities, but the society doesn’t work in a sustainable way, cities are not developed enough to handle the complex social systems.
Besides, the thinking and attitudes of Occidental culture or values are so profound.(Bateson) If the values can be steered in appropriate directions to make the two systems running in the same direction, then what the cities can provide will surely meet our demands.
Naomi Klein points out that the human-beings are faced with a crisis that threatens our survival, but we still continue ti do the very thing that caused the crisis. In this way, our cities are not on the track of sustainability. Although the author’s points of view are in some way too negative, they raised the awareness of the importance of climate change with detailed examples and arguments. The creature that wins against its environment destroys itself.(Bateson) Once we create a low carbon society and make some important lifestyle changes to stabilize the physical system, back on the track of sustainability should not be far away.