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The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age

Cities define us. They shape the outlooks, opportunities and lives of over half of the world’s population. Yet most contemporary political thought neglects their role. The Ancient Greeks, by contrast, thought that every city had its own ethos and values that helped to determine its institutions, political systems and the lives of its citizens. Daniel Bell thinks it is time to revive the thinking of the Greeks and rediscover the spirit of cities.

Date & Time

Wednesday
Jul. 25, 2012
9:00am – 10:30am ET
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Overview

Cities define us. They shape the outlooks, opportunities and lives of over half of the world’s population. Yet most contemporary political thought neglects their role. The Ancient Greeks, by contrast, thought that every city had its own ethos and values that helped to determine its institutions, political systems and the lives of its citizens. Daniel Bell thinks it is time to revive the thinking of the Greeks and rediscover the spirit of cities.

Professor Bell's new book (co-written with Professor Avner de-Shalit), The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age looks at nine cities – Jerusalem, Montreal, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Oxford, Berlin, Paris and New York – and shows how the ethos of each is expressed in its political, cultural and economic life, and how the character of each city works against the excesses of nationalism on the one hand, and the sameness of globalization on the other.

Join us in a discussion with Daniel Bell and John DeGioia on how thought, time, and money are invested to protect and preserve cities’ unique ethos “through policies of design and architecture and through the way people use the cities and interact with them.”

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Hosted By

Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Since 1991, the Urban Sustainability Laboratory has advanced solutions to urban challenges—such as poverty, exclusion, insecurity, and environmental degradation—by promoting evidence-based research to support sustainable, equitable and peaceful cities.  Read more

Kissinger Institute on China and the United States

The mission of Kissinger Institute on China and the United States is to ensure that informed engagement remains the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations.  Read more

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