"A call to arms to people who want to make life better in their local community but also understand the need for more fundamental system change."
- Matthew Taylor, Head of the Royal Society of Arts
"This book is important and well timed. It feels as if we are standing at a boundary which will define us."
- Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project
Civic Revolution is a story about the power we have as citizens to mend the broken links between people and places, past and present, prosperity and sustainability. It is about the attitudes to civic life and the actions we take that will make a world of difference. For it is not hope that leads to action, it is our action that leads to hope.
Cities are the places that will have the greatest influence over life on Earth. Over half of the world’s population is urban, and the estimation is that over two billion more people will live in cities within the next thirty years. This momentum is earth-shattering. However, the single biggest cause of global warming – the urbanisation of humanity – is potentially the principal solution.
The ecological genius of the city enables us to live better – while consuming, wasting and polluting less. However it remains a vast, largely hidden power. What is missing is a citizen’s guide to turn the place where we live into the seat of the solution.
I am an author and the co-founder of a company working on new ideas for the internet of things to make products and places more interactive with people and the environment. Enthusiastic about innovation, I have also studied renewable energy with EIT and urbanism at LSE. My belief in the richness of urban life and its potential is borne from living in cities as diverse and energising as London, NYC, Budapest and Manila.
I wrote this book because renewed civic action is needed and urgent, if we are to leave this place better than we found it.