Ideas for Discussion

What's new 16th Mar.2000

A college course and five new books could serve as a common starting point for discussion. The corresponding links are posted here to facilitate preparations among persons notified by email.

Computers are contributing to globalization.

Dr. Gerard Toal in Virginia is starting an online course on this topic at

Dr. Cogburn also has a globalization course at

People's need to gather together spatially will soon be satisfied virtually.

William J. Mitchell's new book is exploring such questions as this, E-Topia. Urban Life, Jim -- But Not as We Know It, Table of Contents

How will virtual gatherings affect the future of the city?

How might transport telematics reduce environmental degradation?

How might these factors affect social rights and sustainable development?

Last year urban expert Saskia Sassen broadened the question, stating “It is not only a new governing architecture for finance that we need, but also one for international workers and environmental standards,” in the University of Chicago Magazine

Sassen perceives a connection here to China's rapidly developing cities. China is undergoing tumultuous change. Will it leapfrog the West?

Another new book addresses such issues as these. Dorothy J. Solinger: Contesting Citizenship in Urban China Peasant Migrants, the State, and the Logic of the Market, description

A third new thought-provoking book is Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize-winning economist. Sen was recently interviewed by the Atlantic Monthly,, where he stated that:

"For every university-educated person in China, India has six; but as far as the level of literacy is concerned, China is quite close to complete literacy, especially among the young, while India is still 30 percent illiterate."

Sen is using his Nobel prize money to fund a trust to combat problems in Indian education.

Four related conferences are taking place around mid-2000:

Cities for the South Geneva May 3-6
Geneva 2000 Geneva June Geneva 2000, The Next Step in Social Development
"Reinventing Mobility" Bremen, Germany June 24-27th  2000 conference in a series linked to Mombasa and Pune,
Global Cities21
Dessau June 28-July 2
Urban 21 Berlin July 4, 2000

The German conference Urban 21 is taking place in conjunction with a Latin American event,

An initiative stemming from the UN Habitat conference called the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme publishes a newsletter and conference calendar at,

From the South comes a new book co-edited by Bernd Hamm (Centre for European Studies, Trier, Germany) and Pandurang K. Muttagi (Tata, Bombay, India): Sustainable Development and the Future of Cities, and published with support from UNESCO by Oxford & IBH Publ. Co. Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi and Calcutta, 1998. It contains articles on the Philippines, Iran and Poland.

Finally, from an economic perspective, The Long Boom: A Vision of the Coming Age of Prosperity by Peter Schwartz, Peter Leyden and Joel Hyatt looks back on our times from a vantage point in the 21st century, as does the 21st Century section of the Thematic Area of Expo 2000. The book has a remarkable Website and network of its own,, and has been reviewed inter alia here,

For additional details on the Expo Global Dialogue, contact Thomas Ruddy, email:

or Prof. Dr. Dr. F. J. Radermacher, Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing FAW, Ulm, Germany, email:

Go back to Expo page