March 5, 2014

The Post-Sustainability Era: What Price Tags said in Auckland

Here’s where I’ve been for the last fortnight.  Speaking at events in Auckland, New Zealand.

The most significant was at an “Auckland Conversations” – a great format where they bring in speakers from around the world to address issues of interest or concern to this Kiwi city of about the same size as Vancouver (and rated about the same on all those livability lists.)

So here’s the video of my talk:


PT Auckland

Click through to the site.  The talk starts after the introduction at 6:15.

Has sustainability had its time?  Given the doubling down on fossil fuels and carbon transfer by countries like Canada and Australia, is there any point to pursuing modest and inconsequential strategies in our cities?  Are post-motordom cities like Vancouver able to resist the development of sprawl-feeding road infrastructure, the squandering of valuable agricultural land and an unwillingness to finance sustainable transportation infrastructure?

While the challenges of sustainable development are more important than ever, local leaders need new alliances to build the post-sustainability city. Gordon Price will dissect current trends, pose some provocative scenarios and, using Vancouver as an example, offer some alternatives.

There’s a challenge at the end that I’ll open up to anyone who comes up with a good entry.

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  1. Instead of “postsustainability”, how about “resiliency”? To me, a “resilient city” evokes prudence and good governance in the face of adverse events. Risk management appears again and again in your talk.