The idea of cities has held the fascination of many theorists, poets and other intelligentsia; and they have all described the city in many many ways over centuries.

But the single most important value that a city epitomizes is :

Human Aspiration.

Cities at their very core are simply a testimony to the essence of human ambition and aspiration – The ambition for a better life ..for progress…

Cities represent a superior way of life given that a city gives people access to the finest educational institutes, the most advanced healthcare amenities and a diverse set of cultural and recreational facilities et cetera. This ‘life’ is at the heart of why people are moving from villages to towns and cities, in virtually every geography of the planet. Every individual who migrates to an urban area is doing so with a fundamental aspiration for a better life. Cities therefore nurture the primitive instinct of a human being to advance to a higher plane.

Many of these men and women who came to cities with these inherent ambitions of progress went on to shape most of humankind’s greatest achievements. Look back at the pages of history , be it in art, philosophy , religion, culture, commerce, or technology; and you will observe that the highlights of the supreme feats of the human civilization was rooted in its cities. Therefore, urbanization is fundamentally about development of the human species. It is about human evolution and is simply irreversible.

Of course, one also recognizes that cities hold some of our greatest challenges today – from climate change to extreme poverty. But we believe that they also offer the answers and solutions to these grave challenges. We hope to bring forward some of those ideas through this forum.

Manhattan panorama

Creative Commons License photo credit: Matti Mattila

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