The Washington Post

The sign says WALK

Here’s the other thing. I won’t tell you what the first thing is, because it could be many different things, but here’s the other thing. Cities are back.

And when I say cities, I don’t just mean big cities. I mean middle-sized and little cities, and big towns and small towns and even villages too. The idea of a concentrated, walkable population center is what I mean. And who, twenty years ago, would have guessed. The farther, the sprawlier, the more car-dependent, the better, was how it was. A trend without end, until it ended. I mentioned villages. Even the smallish one I grew up in, whose little downtown had nearly bled to death during recent decades, has made something of a comeback. And why? Because, people, after all of that, decided they LIKE the urban experience, writ large or small.

And the ramifications are political, too, as is true of this, and all things. As I’ve said before, it’s hard to have what you could call a civilization without cities, and things are looking up. It’s interesting. It’s exciting. So recalibrate your thinking, if you haven’t already, as the Twenty-first Century finally gets underway, with a character of its own.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.

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