June 2, 2017
Urban Studies Theorist Richard Florida interviews Gabriel Metcalf, president and CEO of SPUR, regarding his book, Democratic by Design, which talks about the importance of making “better use of alternative institutions like cooperatives and community land trusts to help build more sustainable, socially responsible, and prosperous communities.”
To Make Cities More Sustainable, Let Go of Tradition
By: Richard Florida
Dec 10, 2015
“Things aren’t right in America today”: In his important new book on social innovation, Gabriel Metcalf—executive director of the urban policy think tank SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) and a CityLab contributor—opens with this all-too-familiar sentiment. Rising inequality, deepening segregation, and increasingly unaffordable housing are just a few of the many problems currently plaguing the U.S. These issues are no more evident than in America’s dense, large urban communities, which boast some of the greatest technology and innovation in the world, but also some of the harshest economic and class divides.
To make things right, Metcalf argues in Democratic 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.
Click here to read the full article on CITYLAB.com.