1 July

A Call for [More] Collaboration

More than 180,000 people move from a rural area to a city every day. In the next four decades, one out of every two people will move from the countryside to the city. This global migration will generate challenges beyond our comprehension – challenges that will stretch us to collaborate with others well beyond our […]

3 June

Is My Heart a Living System?

In a recent presentation to our team, the speaker, Bianca, challenged my thinking. She asked us: How is a city different from a toaster? Admittedly, the city is clearly not a toaster. It is not a piece of machinery but an integrated system of many organic systems – including its people. Characteristics of a Living System […]

13 May

Words Have Feelings, Too

“It’s not the word’s fault,” my German teacher said, as he explained to us why you shouldn’t say the word Führer. “When someone says it [Führer], this is all we think about,” he said, drawing a toothbrush moustache on his face with his index finger and making the “Heil, Hitler” gesture. In the dictionary, Führer […]

8 March

Picturing Impossible, Possible

Does this look like a picture of a world-class, cosmopolitan city to you? Probably not. I shot this panorama from a local bridge where I like to run. It doesn’t reflect the modernity of Berlin like these photos of Berlin do, but, for me, it gives an unpolished glimpse of a city in progress. Berlin is a constantly […]

4 March

Get to Know the City

When I seek to understand a city, I try to balance three sources of input: written material (stories, history, studies, etc.), talking to people (first-hand understanding), and walking the streets (my own feeling, sensing, observing).

There are several categories, general and specific, that I seek to understand: