Crowdfunded Journalism
Exclusive Milestone 1.

Where is the city of the future?

Colin Marshall photo
Colin MarshallLos Angeles, California and Seoul, South Korea
Where is the city of the future?
An in-depth search across the Pacific Rim for the best city to lead us into the urban century ahead.

Not long after the turn of the 21st century, the world's urban population surpassed its non-urban population for the first time ever. And the deeper humanity gets into the this century, the more urbanized our world becomes: developing cities develop, neglected cities revitalize themselves, and the long-standing great cities of the world continue to find (or struggle to find) new ways of accommodating all those who've never stopped coming to live in them.

How can the ever-growing urban world prepare itself for things to come? This series of reports aims to discover just that by taking as close as possible a look at cities all across the Pacific Rim, from 20th-century metropolises looking toward the future like Seattle and Vancouver to compact city-states like Singapore and Hong Kong to fast-developing capitals like Jakarta and Bangkok to lower-profile but nevertheless inventive “sleeper” cities like Wellington and Santiago to east Asian megacities like Seoul, Tokyo, and Shanghai.

Each of these cities, and many others along the Pacific Rim, have important lessons to teach every other. In order to learn them, each report will delve into as many cultural, architectural, and urbanistic aspects of the city at hand as possible, combining both text and photographs, and informed by both extensive on-the-ground exploration and in-depth conversations with those who know these fascinating urban places best. The result will draw from the Pacific Rim's cities a host of ideas, daringly innovative or resiliently time-tested, that the rest of the urban world can put into practice.

For every $2000 raised, I'll go report on a Pacific Rim city. The series will begin with reports on Los Angeles and Seoul, and will continue on to potential cities of the future in an order voted on by you, the supporters. (Theoretically, you could keep me at this for quite a long time!) Thanks very much indeed — and I look forward to finding the city of the future together.

#cities, #urbanism, #Pacific Rim, #development, #travel, #globalization

Risks and Challenges

All the usual hassles that apply to any kind of travel will apply to the kind of travel necessary to produce these reports. While these unforeseeable circumstances could delay a city report, they wouldn't prevent its production entirely; the project will have a start date, but no fixed end date until all the funded city reports appear in full.