One of the most flawed assumption of our government is to work hard “to build a city for people to live in”.
It’s a doomed path.
That assumption often leads to the arrogant posture “we know what is good for people, we know what people want, or the idea that everyone wants the same thing”.
That’s false. You know nothing about the people.
The most sustainable approach is radically different. It starts with the idea “to build the capacity of the people to build the city they want to live in”.
The concept here is “Collective insight, Collective impact”.
In one approach the few self-declared smart or appointed experts are in the center, and the people are their lab guinea pigs. The gov and its know-it-all smarties are certain they know what is good for everyone.
In the other approach, the people are in the center, hiring whoever has the skills to help them achieve their goals. Their self-declared, local, community based goals. They might be wrong, but collective errors are easier to fix, than top-down errors which often lack ownership.
All governments which have tried the “Build for them” approach became monsters, regardless of the lipstick job.
“Build people to build” approach is the path for sustainability. It requires high tolerance to diversity which is something our world currently lacks.