More than half of us already live in cities and towns. And that number will continue to rise.

Imagine a city that asks you what it should spend money on. A city that funds affordable housing and prevents rip-off landlords. One that can raise money without going to central government with a begging bowl.

Imagine a city where education empowers you to participate in decisions on air pollution, transport, energy and food.

Imagine a city where sharing is the norm: from cars to pets, and skills to community-owned energy.

Where libraries aren't just council-owned places we go to borrow books. They're 3D printing labs where residents lend and repair household tools.

Places where nature thrives – fruit and vegetables growing on our streets, walls and the roofs of high-rise flats.

Our towns and cities have the potential to support a high quality of life in a healthy environment controlled by the people living there. They don’t need to be places of loneliness controlled by political and business elites.

It's not the people who are the problem. It's the way we build, organise and run our cities: no-go zones, private parks, gated communities.

Early cities were all about sharing. And ground-breaking examples like Seoul are showing they can be again.


Big Ideas Change the World is a Friends of the Earth project. It seizes the biggest ideas out there for enhancing our lives, preventing the mass-extinction of species and looking after the planet.

Crowd of people walking in a city