Editorial: The fate of cities: an evocation
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Fate defies control, and while its arrival, form and consequences are not foreseeable, its nature can, and often is, prefigured by human activity; For example, the unexpected deaths of people due to fated events such as a landslide, flood, collapse of a building, or fire can and do happen because of (i) ill-conceived or poorly executed human actions, and (ii) a group of people being in the wrong place at the wrong time. More broadly, globalisation, the flux of geopolitical reconfiguration, conflict, population pressures, a new order of transformational technologies, climate change and other environmental problems all converge to constitute a maelstrom of unmanaged change, sealing the fate of millions of people and their cities.
Experientially, fate cannot be divided from knowledge. Consider two people, both living in one of the world’s delta regions, both of whom lose their home and livelihood due to a flood. One attributes their misfortune to fate—for her, such events are destined to...