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How our cities failed us this decade

We let big tech take over and dragged our feet on climate, but it’s not too late to change.

 Amazon took over Seattle’s downtown and virtually every aspect of U.S. city life. Shutterstock.com via Curbed
Amazon took over Seattle’s downtown and virtually every aspect of U.S. city life. Shutterstock.com via Curbed

It was 2010, and for U.S. cities, the future was just starting to look bright again. Crawling out from the recession that decimated the housing market, and buoyed by the wide-eyed enthusiasm of tech companies that pledged to connect us in revolutionary new ways, American cities showed so much promise.

Unfortunately, that optimism was smashed to bits over the next decade. Cities underwent a tremendous amount of change in the 2010s, and not all of it was good. The boom of economic growth left many residents behind. That tech that promised to make our lives easier delivered a multitude of new problems to our doors. The real-life effects of the climate crisis—decades before most leaders expected them—swept entire communities off the map.

The 2010s might have crushed our collective urban spirits—but all is not lost. Think of this list as the Ghost of Christmas Future coming back to warn cities everywhere of the potential missteps they might avoid in the 2020s. It’s not too late…

Nextdoor paranoia

At first it was a novel way to meet the neighbors. Then it became a hotbed of racial profiling. A place to organize against affordable housing projects. And a shadow network for plotting retaliation against homeless residents. Now Nextdoor’s paranoia has given wings to apps like Citizen, Ring, and a whole new generation of fear-based social media (even as urban crime rates have plummeted). A new CEO is trying to change the culture from within, but right now Nextdoor is so beyond saving that you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that Best of Nextdoor, a Twitter account that collects the most gasp-inducing entries, is parody—nope, it’s all far too real.

Future to avoid in the 2020s: Smart doorbells that use facial recognition to automatically call the cops

Read on >>>> Source: Curbed Our cities failed us this decade

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