Cities have served as canvases for grand human experiences since the dawn of time. A piece of art can become a cultural milestone. A new startup can rewire the entire economy. A small incident can galvanise systemic change. Cities provide the infrastructure & intellectual space necessary to create these kinds of human experiences and the results are overwhelmingly positive. However, the price we pay to create these experiences today is orders of magnitude higher than even a decade ago. From traffic to resource consumption to cost of living, our cities are suffering as much from success as excess. Creating more cities is one way to reduce the burdens on our existing, overcrowded cities. But what will these new cities look like? Can we completely overhaul our existing cities in a way that overcomes their legacy problems but doesn’t disrupt their established way of life?
The future of human community lies in urbanised, sustainability-focused cities. And yet, those who must shoulder the responsibility of delivering this future know precious little about how to create it. Children today are not prepared for the world they will inherit. The disconnect between what they learn in school, the reality they live in, and the one they will graduate into, grows wider by the day. If students are to create a sustainable world, the seeds of those ideas must be planted today.
At Worldview, we believe urban sustainability is an essential theme for students to understand. If sustainability is to transform from being a vague label applied to all things environmental-friendly into a deliberate, thoughtful practice that considers the needs of people and the planet, our students must learn what it truly means and costs. What better way to learn this than to explore cities armed with information and guided by experts to bridge the gap between what they are taught and how it can be applied?
We take students to cities across the world - from Singapore to Bangalore - and conduct programs that stoke their imaginations. Students are given an informed but unvarnished look into how the convergence of natural resources, economy, politics and culture plays out in a modern city. Our aim is to lift the veil that separates life in a city from the systems that run it and provide the foundational knowledge necessary to understand complex systems. For instance, consider Singapore. The poster child of sustainable city planning, it has risen from post World War II destruction to become an economic powerhouse that outshines larger neighbours. When students explore the many marvels that modern-day Singapore has to offer, they also consider the human and social costs of Singapore's strict laws. When they visit Singapore's massive theme parks, the students speak with the power generation teams and learn how they manage to generate more power than they consume.
Each of our meticulously planned programs uses the full breadth and depth of a city’s history, infrastructure and cultural milieu to demonstrate how interconnected everything is. This multi-sensory, multidisciplinary approach engages students and sharpens their powers of observation as they compare their home city to the one they are visiting. We bring alive the lessons from their coursework - both curricula focused and our own - and turn each visit into a unique learning experience. Through this exercise, students also understand the differences in lifestyle each city offers, thus helping them discover that there are as many ways to live as there are people.
Cities are a product of generations of work. As children become adults, their actions build upon those of their ancestors and the city evolves. By ignoring the education tucked away in the processes that keep cities ticking, we are depriving our students of lifetimes worth of applied knowledge. Our aim is to change this by showing students the delicate balance which is city administration in the hopes of sparking in them the creativity to think of a better tomorrow.