1 november 2013, elegance as the enemy of efficiency

Meaning that pragmatism in governance structures (like much else) is often messy. Though no doubt she heard it from someone else, I have to credit this nice turn of phrase to alex jones, who manfully chaired an excellent session today with the major thought-leader that is bruce katz. You can download the excellent app here that will tell his story much better than I can, or see his presentation here. The basic idea of the metropolitan revolution is that the era of the all-conquering nation state is receding and if anything is to get done in the world then cities need to step up. He gives some excellent examples of how american cities are doing just that, and his urging on to the rest of us is borderline inspirational. Its not just strong narrative and slick presentation, but the premise is utterly compelling, and the more you think about it, the more right it seems and the more ideas you start having about its application. I'm off to read the book.