With fantastic new maps that show interactive, visual representations of urban fragility, Robert Muggah articulates an ancient but resurging idea: cities shouldn’t just be the center of economics — they should also be the foundation of our political lives. Looking around the world, from Syria to Singapore to Seoul and beyond, Muggah submits six principles for how we can build more resilient cities. “Cities are where the future happens first. They’re open, creative, dynamic, democratic, cosmopolitan, sexy,” Muggah says. “They’re the perfect antidote to reactionary nationalism.”
Worldwide, violence is on the decline, but in the crowded cities of the global south — cities like Aleppo, Bamako and Caracas — violence is actually accelerating, fueled by the drug trade, mass unemployment and civil unrest. Security researcher Robert Muggah turns our attention toward these “fragile cities,” super-fast-growing places where infrastructure is weak and government often ineffective. He shows us the four big risks we face, and offers a way to change course.
In this flashtalk, Robert Muggah, research director at the Igarapé Institute, highlights the need to shift our perspective to see the world through the lens of cities using interactive, visual representations to show how cities are ground zero for great existential challenges – concentrated poverty, war/terrorism/crime, refugees, rising sea levels, fires and pollution, pandemics – and highlighting the importance of cities working together to address these challenges. (at the Prtizker Forum on Global Cities 2019)
As cities proliferate and become the economic and political centers in countries around the world, they also become the centers of understanding and harmony due to the mixing of cultures, ideas, and lifestyles that come with urban living. Cities are the places of power in the 21st century, and as they grow, they have the power to shape our future. Dr. Robert Muggah, a political economist who studies urban security and development, believes that cities are inherently fragile habitats as they constantly change to accommodate unpredictability, but with preparation and a better understanding of how they can improve our lives, we can take control of our future and overcome these challenges. Join us in this session as Dr. Muggah explores the fragility and resilience of modern urban life. (at the World Government Summit 2019)
Researcher Robert Muggah and British journalist Misha Glenny mix funny banter and data visualization to explain the multitude of plights facing cities around the globe and how we can face them.
Researcher Robert Muggah at the Smart City Expo 2017
Davos, World Economic Forum 2017 – Global Situation Space