Why sustain the status quo if it’s not good enough? After reconnecting with my friend, thought leader Dr. Tia Kansara, I’m even more fascinated with the capacity of our imagination to envision new forms of space and place. And I’m wondering if our book title should have been Replenishing a City’s Culture and Character.

Dr. Kansara is director of Replenish.Earth Ltd and long-time co-director of Kansara Hackney Ltd, the first ISO-certified sustainable lifestyle consultancy in the world. She’s traveled to over 80 countries to share the World Replenish Index. Her ideas about the future of cities and how to create societies with a better relationship to nature frame her multiple TEDx Talks and influenced our book’s approach and content.

In the video, we discuss the fruits of her career, which, post-UCL Ph.D, has taken her from the Emirates, to Bhutan, India, and beyond, consulting on a variety of creative and high-end projects. We have reconnected several times since meeting in Adelaide in 2017, where we both spoke at Open State, a de facto festival of ideas convened by the South Australia government.

I emerged from our conversation even more committed to the importance of immersive, critical thinking about changing environments. As noted, an imagined place is a legitimate place. Further, as Dr. Kansara notes, we all have an existential role to play with our imaginations, to understand our roles in what she terms “preventative sustainability” that leaves our environments in better condition than we first experienced.

Review the special “landing page” for Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character here.

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