Shaping Cities, tips from SanFran

My stay in San Francisco was short but very prolific. I had the opportunity to explore the city in some of the best ways possible, by foot and by bike. And to enjoy the company of Chris Carlsson, a wealth of knowledge about San Francisco and its history. Not only that, but I had the opportunity of being his guinea pig (in his own words) and read the unpublished version of his new book. Chris is one of those persons who walk the talk and he’s been walking around SF for a long time.

It was definitely a pleasure to discover a little more of San Fran through the stories told in his book. As I wandered through the hills in the Bay Area I was learning that the same city who gave birth to many movements anti-war, environmentalists groups and campaigns against freeways and the “Manhattanization” of cities; it’s also the city who hosted ethnic genocides, the mass production of warships and now faces the privatization of public transport with the big tech industries dramatically altering the urban fabric.

San Francisco is truly a magical place and the experience was an eye-opener to understand a little bit more of how interconnected all the aspects of the urban life are and the constant struggle among all the stakeholders, whether they know it or not.

We make history together every day, both by acting in the world now, and by interpreting and arguing over a contested past.

Chris Carlsson

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