People Together

Cities represent the hallmark of our civilization. They indicate our ability to nurture and grow specialists. A specialist, whether a doctor, lawyer, plumber or other, can focus upon their task without undue concern about gathering food or protecting their family. Effectively, in cities, they can allocate all their effort and energy in pursuing their speciality.

Yet, cities serve to enable specialist. They responsibility doesn’t include defining and pursuing a future greater than that needed by their residents. At best, they will upgrade the city infrastructure so as to improve the livelihoods of the residents. The following table is an indicator of a typical city’s allocation of energy as typified by its outlay of tax revenues.

A High-Tech City of 1 Million
Allocation Percent
Education 18.66
Public Transportation 13.85
Security (police) 12.83
Social Services and health 11.25
Debt 9.51
Safety (fire and paramedics) 8.64
Administration, planning 7.46
Roads and Traffic 6.7
Parks, Recreation, Culture, Conservation 5.17
Garbage, Recycling 4.09
Library 1.85

The above doesn’t include the effort to provide a potable water supply. For this example, it’s a function of the amount used and it is about a 50% increase on the above.
As can be seen from the above table, there’s precious little allocation to looking forward. Planning and economic development amounts to 0.22%. Yet, this is mainly to put some sense into the growth of the city. Understandably, city ratepayers aren’t interested in funding risky endeavours even if the end result is a much improved civilization.