As my driver skillfully navigated the on-the-ground chaos of screeching motorcycle horns and hellish gridlock, I turned my head to the passing still lifes. Tent encampments, sidewalks overflowing with garbage, decaying buildings, commuters with backpacks clutched protectively to their fronts. Each as characteristic a scene of a city as familiar to me as my hometown in San Francisco. From these blurred impressions, a question crystallized. Is urbanization — as closely related to human development and progress as environmental damage, vulnerability to disease, and inequality — a net good for people and the planet?
I write about my photography, social impact work, global travels, and the books profoundly expanding my thinking. Rather than a traditional diary, I also keep a quotes journal, featuring curated inspiration — quotes, poems, passages — from what I’m reading and experiencing.