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Osaka's robot-run parking lots mixed with the Minneapolis lakefront; a musician's fantasy metropolis By DAVID BYRNE Originally published in the Wall Street Journal byrne.jpg New Orleans on a rainy day. National Geographic Stock There's an old joke that you know you're in heaven if the cooks are Italian and the engineering is German. If it's the other way around you're in hell. In an attempt to conjure up a perfect city, I imagine a place that is a mash-up of the best qualities of a host of cities. The permutations are endless. Maybe I'd take the nightlife of New York in a setting like Sydney's with bars like those in Barcelona and cuisine from Singapore served in outdoor restaurants like those in Mexico City. Or I could layer the sense of humor in Spain over the civic accommodation and elegance of Kyoto. Of course, it's not really possible to cherry pick like this-mainly because a city's qualities cannot thrive out of context. A place's cuisine and architecture and language are all somehow interwoven. But one can dream.

by RICHARD REGISTER It's time we put economics into some sort of physical scientific context that makes sense. Economists have drifted off into a disconnected world where, blinded by massive amounts of money and mystery, they see themselves as a kind of high priesthood calling the shots for practically everything, then saying they were blindsided by the debacle in the real estate world and the up-trading in wildly irresponsible and, strictly honest to say, greedy derivatives.

[caption id="attachment_716" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Richard Register"][/caption] I have noticed that there were few tools offered in my memory of the Degrowth conference for actually bringing in a new economics that embodies degrowth. I followed Joan Martinez-Alier’s links and some of the text of the contents of the publication he mentioned, in an issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production, and it seemed to me, as usual among business people, economic theorists and even climate change solutions advocates, the built environment and what its variety of expressions imply was completely omitted. Since various different designs and layouts of cities vary massively in their impacts, this line of investigation seems to me to be crucial.