city as organism – a fascinating and hopeful interview by Michael Toms with William McDonough. the insights-per-minute ratio in this one-hour interview is just astounding. free listening THIS WEEK only

THE MONTICELLO DIALOGUES, Part 4: The Rebirth of the Commons, with William McDonough… Imagine for a moment, a beautiful future, free from poverty, war and suffering. Where do you see yourself living in that beautiful world? For many of us we see a bucolic life in the country. Anticipatory design architect William McDonough sees that healthy harmonious future in the city. Really. Named a hero of the planet in 1999 by Time Magazine, McDonough envisions a post sprawl future where the human enterprise is more compact and more abundant and more fun. He still sees cars in our future, but tomorrow’s cars won’t pollute more efficiently, they will be effective silent runners, releasing POSITIVE emissions that support life. And public transport (read trains) will double as a power utility. McDonough’s celebration of the city is a sign of the positive transformation of culture; a culture where we can be people with lives again, neither consumers nor units in a planner’s design algorithm, nor fields in a security database.

ongoing dialogue – Daniel O’Connor and I have been emailing back and forth about markets, community, mortgages, hedge funds, project income, local organizing, food and shelther, oil, gold, war and sovereignty, money supply and a few other tidbits… and how they all fit together… AND what it means that we should do about it. He’s been doing this for some time and is writing it all up in a new book. I’m newer to the conversation, and am posting my learning in the GlobalChicagoNotebook. here is my latest bit, if i dare quote myself, from MarketsCommunityAndFuture

oh yes, and i suppose that after the capitulation, not in markets, but in national psyche and spirit and such, there is huge infrastructure to be shifted over. organics, energy, healthcare, lifelong learning and contribution, etc. whole new ways of being where mass production and urban life meet organic, sustainable living. lots of new stuff to buy… but buy and share. capitulation on a national scale. soft landing? maybe. but makes 911 and iraq war look like minor blips, eh? dust on the screen even. this is first i’ve seen it this way, marrying familiar market views and all of national society — and looking for that capitulation sort of move in the life of the nation, perhaps even western world. makes me think of another marriage… privately held/managed commons. seems private profit AND public community may both be destined for obsolesence… or at least neither will win their struggle. needs to be some sort of non-profit market, for-profit government… maybe we understand city parks or community gardens as examples of the former and community supported farms or free internet services as the latter? maybe the two come together as community markets or market communities? hmmm….
This last bit is new for me… non-profit markets and for-profit government …and seems important in that it gives us some clue about what to look for when we ask “what’s working?” in order to grow more of it. Do you see things that seem to be part be part of the solution AND seem to fit into one of these new categories? I think the BALLE networks, mentioned earlier might fit into this… IF and AS the local alliances grow into more active markets. …and community markets do seem to be BALLE centerpieces. More on the organizational shift from networks to markets, and how to lead that shift in InvitingOrganizationEmerges.