DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT
The world is changing dramatically in ways that amount to a paradigm shift affecting the role of cities and how we run them. So we need to re-think and re-assess the purpose and objectives of urban policy for the 21st century. The idea that the future will resemble the past is long gone. Our capacity to cope is stretched when so many key ideas and ways of doing things are changing at once. We need new skills well beyond new technological literacy, including new approaches to thinking about the city.
It is no wonder the world is confusing for the urban manager. The anchors of our lives are transmuting before our eyes, affecting how we plan our cities: How we create wealth is more to do with manipulating data into knowledge and added value and less with manipulating material goods. Competition has moved from immobile, physical resources like coal or gold towards the new gold of brainpower and imagination transacted through cyberspace. What is the role of the city in a cyberworld? It highlights the city's role as a centre for logistics, trade and ideas exchange, whose quality of life requires an ambience that is both buzzy and encourages the unexpected yet is safe and predictable. Governing and governance is recognized as being less effective when run by hierarchies. Adapting has revolutionised government and civil society institutions as they have moved to flatter structures, devolved responsibilities, partnership structures, networks or even virtual organisations. Pre-prescribed lifecycles are breaking up as society moves away from the education-work-retirement continuum towards lifelong learning and portfolio lifestyles. Learning environments in this context go well beyond the school and will include, for example, any cultural institutions from the museum to art gallery affecting in turn their programming and what a local authority can legitimately fund. With global markets, the 24-hour city is already with us transforming our notion of time. Instantaneous communications in real-time across time zones brings in its wake changed working patterns, yet most cities are still locked into a 9 to 5 rhythm. Cyberspace and virtuality in turn shatters our concept of place. Good quality places, which are distinctive and with which people can identify, become even more important for once sedentary people who are now hyper-mobile travelling between multiple real and virtual locations. Our expectations too of what urban