In a crisis, cities and states can react faster than countries. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle closed cinemas, gyms, bars and clubs; states like Massachusetts and California closed schools long before federal advisories. Closures to doors opened generous hearts: cafes near La Tour Eiffel gave away delicacies like foie gras and freshly baked bread, when Prime Minister Phillippe announced mandated a shutdown in Paris. Throughout history, city-states demonstrated a notably nimble organizational power: ancient Greek city-states like Cyrene, founded by climate migrants, created a new educational, scientific, and cultural center. By 2050, 70% of the world’s people will live in cities. With the rise of megacities, with populations of 10 million plus, is it time for a new era of the city-state?
“Coronavirus: US cities put into lockdown.” 17 March 2020. Sky News. https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-new-york-and-la-on-lockdown-as-world-as-world-reacts-to-spread-of-covid-19-11958145.
“France to close all restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and clubs due to coronavirus.” Barbara Wojazer. 14 March 2020. CNN/World. https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-outbreak-03-14-20-intl-hnk/index.html.
Toynbee, Arnold, editor. Cities of Destiny. Thames & Hudson, 1967.
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unpo