Discussion Boards – 2 – Distribution of Power and Influence

Distribution of Power and Influence

Summary of the Distribution of Power and Influence discussion from the previous consultation in January 2021

  • During the pandemic did Cities win power in terms of rising to the cause for local solutions or did they lose power by losing rights over privacy and personal autonomy?
  • The rule of law has been seen to be very fragile with people protesting about restrictions throughout the pandemic that would not have been permissible previously (curfews, restrictions of movement, tracing, etc). The majority of people have been willing to give up their rights without debate.
  • As a result of the pandemic people are identifying by City as opposed to State. With restriction of movement, neighbourhoods have been thriving. There is a possibility of creating the 15 minute city as the pandemic is causing bubbles within cities; and there is a danger of the city becoming a conglomerate of little towns.
  • There has been a decentralisation of both power and infrastructure.
  • There is an expectation that local government will take on a greater role and responsibility, which will be inelastic. With the rise of local orientation, there may be friction and competition between cities if not evenly managed. Leadership has never been as important, moving out of the pandemic (New Zealand is a clear example of inspiring leadership). Clear, direct and positive communication is essential.
  • Power is related to Trust, which has become more important than Truth. Will trust continue to be more important than the truth, or will the common good prevail?

What are your thoughts on this topic? What do you think the solutions to this topic are as we move out of the pandemic?


  1. Dan Burden
    February 28, 2021 at 9:52 am · Reply

    Neighborhoods and cities are becoming more central to people’s lives. These are the birthplaces of leadership, and the opportunities for an individual to have impact are increasingly local.


  2. Dan Burden
    February 28, 2021 at 9:58 am · Reply

    People increasingly see value in having local places (inside their 15-minute walk window) to bump into other people. Parks, modified intersections, wider sidewalks in commercial districts with more places to sit and visit will reshape our interactions and influence.

  3. Dan Burden
    February 28, 2021 at 10:16 am · Reply

    In well-run, governments like New Zealand, the importance of responsive and responsible leadership are celebrated. This strengthens trust and governance. In nations, states, and cities where leadership has become incompetent and corrupt, such as the recent Texas storm causing mega-power outages and deaths resulting from lack of preparation in equipment and backup systems, greater change of power will emerge. Expect this to continue with increasing climate change.

  4. Dan Burden
    February 28, 2021 at 10:22 am · Reply

    Great cities have leaders that stay elected due to their ability to listen to the values, passions, and needs of people. Those cities that tend to crumble over time allow their leaders to overly-listen to people and corporations focused on cutting costs.

  5. Ian Livingstone
    March 7, 2021 at 4:48 am · Reply

    In countries that are seeing significant push back against lockdown measures (often from people who have lost jobs or suffered economically as a result of the pandemic) the element of trust is something that needs to be reevaluated and approached differently at government level. This should encompass revised strategies to benefit local empowerment within city neighbourhoods in order to instil a sense of social pride and involvement. It will take bringing people together through effective and clearly defined leadership to establish value through resident associations, sports clubs, education etc. to deliver something meaningful and beneficial within local areas. Approaches will need to be tailored appropriately for each area.

    In Copenhagen, each apartment building has a residential group for the maintenance and upkeep of common areas and external courtyard with monthly payments ring fenced these purposes. The summer months will bring encourage the use of the courtyard as a focal point of social activity, which will be a welcome relief for people. Local leadership, distribution of information and a welcoming outward face is key within communities which may have suffered more than others throughout the pandemic. Hopefully the summer months combined with the vaccine roll out will inspire people out of their bubbles and into their neighbourhoods.

    I believe that the concept of the 15 minute city is a good one. The concerns around this resulting in greater isolation may be misplaced. The 15 minute travel zones refer to distance covered by walking, cycling, public transport or car. In essence, this will result in cities evolving into a series of overlapping travel circles in a Venn diagram format. It is not economical for public facilities such as hospitals, large parks, sporting arenas etc., to be distributed into each individual neighbourhood and as such, many of these will remain as individual locations to be shared by all. The establishment of a series of neighbourhoods will reinforce how many cities operate presently but could improve upon through the provision a mix of uses at a proportionate scale, whilst being well connected to surrounding areas. through green infrastructure and permeability.

    • Celine Beurle
      March 7, 2021 at 1:09 pm · Reply

      Excellent points, Ian. Thank you for your post!

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For more information, and to engage in further discussion regarding the Future of Urban Living consultation, please contact:

Celine Beurle, C.O.O.
Future iQ®
Phone: +353 88 354 0220