We are experiencing an exceptional historical period. It affects the heart of London and cities of all sizes in a world that has become urban.
This great metropolis is under strain and we do not yet know for how long. The clearest lesson is that we have to rethink our ways of life, of production, of consumption, of travel.
Now is the time to live on a human scale — to give proximity its strength back. We should develop as many services as possible close to home; switch to another temporality, that of 15 minutes, where amenities are no more than a short journey away; go carbonless; rediscover nature and urban biodiversity.
This is the polycentric city in the manner of Pascal’s sentence “an infinite sphere, the centre of which is everywhere, and the circumference nowhere”.
Carlos Moreno Scientific director of the Entrepreneurship, Territory, Innovation Chair at IAE Paris Sorbonne Business School
Thank you for a wonderfully intellectual view of the future of the city: but will you allow me to disagree? Cities work when people can move and mix, experiment, challenge each other and try new things. That’s the fun of London.
If we all stayed close to home, all the time, we’d never get the chance to break out. Talking to your neighbours all the time would be boring. Let’s keep our city open — and open-minded.
Julian Glover, Associate Editor
Cyclists should stay in their lane
What an extraordinary reply to two rational letters from readers on the threat to pedestrians’ safety from cyclists [Letters, Jul 31]. The fact is that pavements are for pedestrians. Those of us who are less agile face enough difficulties when out and about and the suggestion that we should live and let live is truly unhelpful.