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How we save the city


Illustration in a hand drawn style with pencil of three stick figure characters smiling. The first has dark skin and short hair. The second has long straight hair and glasses. The third is in a wheelchair and has curly hair. They are having a conversation, each has a speech bubble above their heads, the first speech bubble says Next we have to think about who is going to do all this? The second says Right, so we think about our players. the third says yeah and they've each got a role to play in saving the city!

Now we have a strategy, we need to explore who will use it and how.


These are our city players - the groups and individuals we will meet and engage with in our quest to save the city.


Nine players feature in How to save the city.

These are ‘pen portraits’ to stimulate thinking and action about the breadth and diversity of actors involved in making and saving the city.


What we need to know is how these players work, what role they can play in saving the city, what social power and resources they can leverage, how can we integrate and share lessons between them.

Our players can
join together in breakaway coalitions that can challenge the business-as-usual model of ceaseless growth.

The nine players include:

  • The scientist / researcher and how they can create experimental living laboratories for solutions to the problems we face

  • The teacher / educator and how we can relearn the skills of community to navigate the emergencies ahead

  • The entrepreneur and how to build a new economy which has the needs and priorities of its users and the communities it serves​

  • The city maker and the skills of being an inter-connected practitioner that can work across silos and departments

  • The social activist and how everyday activism can harness social power in a way that involves and engages people

  • The pro-sumer and how we link buying and making, creating an ethics of care into our daily trading

  • The citizen and how to manage the urban commons, bringing the city’s land and buildings into use for communities to build resilience and sustainability

  • Big business and how to harness their power and skills as a force for transformation to a circular economy

  • The non human and how humans can reconnect with plants and animals in the face of the rapid extinction of the natural world.

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