For professional optimists like me in the business of advancing an alternative, more wholesome economic model, the temptation can be strong to project our dreams of a better world onto the COVID-19 screens where different futures are playing out. These “screens” of course are no blank canvases: rather, stages upon which diverse actors, old and new, motivated by their own designs and pandemic-fueled fantasies are vying for control of the script.
The Long Crisis scenarios are a timely and helpful reminder that nothing is settled: our future is up for grabs. Possibility-laden as this moment is, we must yet grapple with the formidable forces of incumbency pulling us back to the status quo ante. A better future can only be won by equipping and empowering cities to drive a green, inclusive recovery post-COVID-19.