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How we save the city


Illustration in a hand drawn style with pencil of three stick figure characters around a table each moving play pieces on a map of the city. The characters are having a conversation, each has a speech bubble above their heads. The first character has long straight hair and glasses. The second is in a wheelchair and has curly hair. The third has dark skin and short hair. Their speech bubbles say; So first we have to think about strategy. About how change happens. The second says, right, and there are three main parts to this. The third says, yeah we have to learn and unlearn, build alternatives and sometimes resist!

Faced with these converging triple emergencies, how should we go about saving the city? This is an important question. If we are going to influence and change our cities positively, there needs to be some real time put aside to strategic thinking about how and why change happens.

How to save the city is based around a strategic approach to change called:



The first step focuses on learning and unlearning. To effectively create change, we need to learn new ideas and ways of thinking, as well as attempting to unlearn ways of seeing and acting that hold us back. Key aspects include recognising the challenges ahead, telling the truth about them, developing solidarity with those most affected, and importantly starting to see change from the perspective of a city.

The second step relates to action and resisting - empowering ourselves and others, taking action and pushing back against what is harming us, especially in our emergency context. This step includes understanding pinch points for actions, how we link our immediate activities to broader issues upstream, and create a new approach new city wealth.

The final step is building and making, creating new ways of being and living in the present that can support a viable and prosperous future for us all. Aspects include building alternative institutions, infrastructure and projects that make the world we want to see, and building a new story for what cities are for, and also a coalition of actors who will make it happen.

a strategic approach is an essential part of making transformative changes that can tackle our triple emergencies
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