Rajat Chaudhuri: What will be the new Utopia?

6/07/2020 - 13:14

In Jerome K Jerome’s The New Utopia, a man wakes up from a 1,000-year-long sleep, and finds himself in a future London where he needs a bath.

“No; we are not allowed to wash ourselves.” his guide tells him, “You must wait until half-past four, and then you will be washed for tea.” “Be washed!” “Who by?” the man asks.“The State,” replies the guide.

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A deeper critic of smartness that overlaps sustainability concerns points out the anthropocentrism of cities and suggests urban alternatives which are shared domains for multiple species. Christoph Ruprecht from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto says, ‘Multispecies cities are thriving ecosystems, constantly re-shaped by their many-species inhabitants to facilitate mutual flourishing.’ He points me to an ongoing unique experiment ‘For the Love of Bees’ a living social sculpture project to imagine Auckland as the safest city in the world for bees.

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