A historian from the future reminds an audience of city leaders about the past that haunts them

Michael Allen, lecturer in American Culture Studies in Arts & Sciences


SEPTEMBER 7, 2068 — At a public lecture inside the Jack Dorsey Center for Civic Innovation at Washington University in St. Louis, a historian decides to recount the past 100 years of St. Louis’s history in order to help spur new urban leadership. Once the fourth-largest city in the U.S. and the scene of a World’s Fair, it finds itself in an intractable soft decline—stagnating in the face of massive poverty, land vacancy, privatization, austerity measures, and accelerated climate change.

But city leaders are still hopeful that St. Louis can regain some vitality and distinguish itself among a growing class of similar cities. The historian addresses the assembled government officials, academics, designers, and business executives.

To read the full piece, visit City Lab.


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