Stewart Brand on Long Term Thinking and Cities

From an article in the Portland Tribune:

Brand, whose current lecture is titled “The Future of Cities as if the Past Mattered,” makes a distinction between long-term planning and long-term thinking, favoring the latter because we can’t know the future.

“Institutions max out at 40 to 50 years; some universities have lasted a thousand years. Religions — some poop out pretty quickly — while cities vary enormously, such as capitals of dynasties. Jerusalem has been an important town for 2,000 years.”
He compares aerial photos of earthquake-devastated Turkey from the 1990s with those of recently tsunami-ravaged Asia.
“All the buildings went down except the mosques,” he says. “This is because some parts of civilization move faster than others.” Islam is ancient, but modern businesses bought off the government to get around building codes, he says.

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