"How would you ask today's social question? What are in your opinion the next steps that have to be taken in order to develop a more convincing idea of sustainability?- Manuel Castells, in conversation with Florian Sauter and Christian Schmid in Natural Metaphor: Architectural Papers III, edited by Josep Lluis Mateo (2007).
I am a researcher, not an idealogue, and I never say what must be done. However, I can see that people all over the world are increasingly critical of a civilization that has extraordinary technological and cultural potential and yet sees the persistence of humankind, together with increasing inequality, and dangerous environmental deterioration that may threaten the survival of our species (not of the planet, of us in the planet). In this sense the global movement against corporate globalization has been an important voice to activate a necessary debate about our current model of growth and social organization. Architects and planners, as experts in spatial forms of livelihood, have a major role in influencing the debate. This is indeed a political debate, but can be and must be informed by analysis and alternative design."