🤔 The Seductive Appeal of Urban Catastrophe

Liked The Seductive Appeal of Urban Catastrophe by Annalee Newitz (theatlantic.com)

Perhaps the fear of becoming one of those “loser” civilizations helps explain the current anxieties about how the coronavirus pandemic is causing people to flee San Francisco. When our only models for urban transformation come from lost-city tales, it’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea that some people will leave, some will stay, and still others will work to make the city more livable for the next generation. Imagining an apocalypse against which a city is helpless may be psychologically easier than doing the hard work, over years or decades, to bring about slow but wrenching change. Nevertheless, urbanites must be prepared for a gradual, bumpy transformation—at least, if they hope to base their futures on lessons from history, rather than on myths inherited from colonizers, travel literature, and action movies.

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