Dean Rohrer

La persona y la ciudad

BEIJING – ¿Cuál es el evento más importante de nuestra era? Depende del día, pero en el caso de que pensemos en siglos y no en días, seguramente la urbanización de la humanidad es un fuerte contendiente. Hoy en día, más de la mitad de la población mundial vive en ciudades, en comparación a menos del 3% en el año 1800. Hasta el año 2025, se espera que China, por sí sola, tenga 15 “mega-ciudades”, cada una con una población que llegue al menos a 25 millones de personas. ¿Están los críticos sociales en lo correcto al preocuparse por la soledad atomizada de la vida en una gran ciudad?

Es cierto que las ciudades no pueden proporcionar el rico sentido de comunidad que a menudo caracteriza a los pueblos y ciudades pequeñas. Sin embargo, en las ciudades se desarrolla una forma distinta de comunidad. A menudo las personas se enorgullecen de sus ciudades, y tratan de fortalecer las culturas cívicas que las distinguen.

La historia sobre el orgullo que se siente por la ciudad en la que se vive comenzó hace muchos siglos atrás. En la antigüedad, los atenienses se identificaban con espíritu democrático de su ciudad, mientras que los espartanos se enorgullecían de la reputación de fuerza y disciplina militar de la suya. Por supuesto, las áreas urbanas de hoy en día son enormes, diversas y plurales, por lo que puede parecer extraño decir que una ciudad moderna tiene un espíritu distintivo que permea la vida colectiva de sus residentes.

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