Stewart Brand's 3-minute TEDTalk on cities

Posted by: Tedstaff

Rural villages worldwide are being deserted, as billions of people flock to cities, to live in teeming squatter camps and slums. And Stewart Brand says this is a good thing. Why? It’ll take you 3 minutes to find out. Music: Brian Eno, “Just Another Day on Earth,” from his 2005 album Another Day on Earth (Hannibal). (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 3:17) Read Stewart Brand’s profile on TED.com

Watch this talk on TED.com where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances.

Comments (3)

  • 2sw2r bangoo commented on May 20 2009

    I did not understand at all his perspective on why moving to cities “is a good thing.

  • Rahul Dewan commented on Sep 9 2008

    Re-visited the presentation. Got the point about “diffusing the population time bomb”. Wealth creators? ahem! There is increasing discussion going on in the Planning Commission to have 85% of India’s population in cities. Villages are so inefficient they say.

    To my mind, this sounds obnoxious. Villages are inefficient if you have to drag nuclear or thermal power over distances of 10,000 kms, but if you could allow and invest in villages investing in their own local power – through solar, wind, bio-gas, biofuels – that would change the demographics of the village.

    People migrate to cities, to live in near-inhuman living conditions in slums (squatter cities!) to get out of abject poverty – absolutely correct. But the answer to get them out of this poverty is not in getting them to cities and claiming that it is a “good thing”. On the contrary, the model of our “skewed economics” city-centric, solely-profit-oriented (without values of maximising human creativity, spreading love, compassion) needs to change.

    Stewart Brand sounded nothing more than rhetoric here with the message and the wry smile – “we’re shining back at them” – means nothing – to address the state of the world we’re in. The climate crisis we’re in is a result of thinking of such policy makers, I feel.

  • Rahul Dewan commented on Sep 9 2008

    I did not understand at all his perspective on why moving to cities “is a good thing”, and how this mass migration has “diffused the population time bomb”. hmmm…