How Do Our Cities Prepare for the Post-Apocalypse?

How Do Our Cities Prepare for the Post-Apocalypse? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A dark orange sky above San Francisco, at 11:18 am on Sept. 9, 2020, was caused by heavy smoke from wildfires nearby. Photo by Eric Risberg/AP Photo

The World We Want: A Zócalo/University of Toronto Event
Moderated by Somini Sengupta, International Climate Reporter, New York Times

It’s too late to prevent the apocalypse. Because it’s already here. A virus spreads globally, creating a pandemic, as yet uncontrolled. Climate change accelerates, and hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, and floods grow deadlier. Nuclear weapons and disruptive technologies proliferate, and economic dislocation and record mass migrations destabilize cities. Is it reasonable to expect urban centers, which are particularly threatened by many of these global phenomena, to do much more than mitigate the damage? And if world-altering disasters—from climate change to mass social breakdown—are inevitable, what can we do now to give our densest and most vulnerable communities a better chance of recovering from these apocalypses, and perhaps even thriving again in the centuries to follow?

University of Toronto professor and urbanist Richard Florida, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Forensic Architecture Senior Researcher Samaneh Moafi, and Serge Dedina, Mayor of Imperial Beach, CA and Executive Director of WILDCOAST, visit Zócalo to discuss how cities around the world might prepare for the post-apocalypse.

Zócalo and the University of Toronto present The World We Want, an event series exploring our current societal, political, and economic challenges and how we might emerge from the current moment.

Zócalo and the University of Toronto thank the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles for supporting The World We Want.

Past Events in this Series

This Period of Crisis Can Help Lead Us ‘Closer to the Good’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

This Period of Crisis Can Help Lead Us ‘Closer to the Good’

From Studying Ancient Wisdom to Learning From Modern Emergencies, We Have the Tools to Be Better 

The final Zócalo/University of Toronto The World We Want event, “Can We Still Find the Good in the World?,” delved into a wide-ranging discussion of what finding the good in …

To Reckon With the Post-Apocalypse, Cities Need to Better Invest in Community | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

To Reckon With the Post-Apocalypse, Cities Need to Better Invest in Community

Urban Areas Need the Buy-in of Locals if They Want to Address Major Problems From Public Health to Climate Change

Most people in the world today live in cities. So it is unsurprising that cities have weathered the extremes of an extreme historical moment: they are where the pandemic first …

The U.S.-China Rivalry Isn’t a New Cold War; It’s Bigger Than That | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The U.S.-China Rivalry Isn’t a New Cold War; It’s Bigger Than That

The Fact That the Two Countries Are Interdependent Makes Both War and Peaceful Cooperation More Possible

The rivalry between China and the United States is not a new Cold War, but it involves profound competition along economic, technological, and economic lines that create dilemmas for other …