From Detroit, Michigan to Gary, Indiana, urban decay is a fact as cities evolve from the physical industrial totems to 20th century progress into the semi-transparent, high technology incubators of the virtual 21st century.
And, with 70% of the human population living in cities by 2050, the crimes, poverty, squatting and homelessness that occur in the midst of inevitable urban decay, will make the distinction between the virtual and the physical more and more stark.
The often highlighted conflicts between residents in the cities and those in rural areas will become more acute as well, but they will not be the most serious.
With all of the in-migration occurring, urban decay becomes a consequence of conflict between a vision of the past and the possibility of the future.
Environmental degradation, fossil fuel use, convenience to services, access to information and job security will all become the battlegrounds in the war between the physical and the virtual.
And when more and more people need fewer and fewer physical places to produce the same amount of goods and services that they did 70 years ago, what will become of the totems to humanity’s former industrial greatness.
Oh, by the way, since the poor—those in spirit, those in material wealth and those in talent—will be with us always, the discarded remnants of the current and future world’s former glory—physical and digital—will also increasingly become places to carve out their own form of prosperity, security and culture.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org