All kinds of work make the city


Tonight I conclude my work as president of my neighbourhood association, Glenora Community League. And as I do so, I am reminded that our work as volunteers is as important as our paid work – it all shapes our individual, family, neighbourhood and city lives. It even changes our planet.

All kinds of work matter because the work we do creates our cities. Very simply, when a city starts, we create work using a resource (coal, water, fishing, farming) in a particular setting. A settlement starts where the natural habitat provides us what we need. Our work, then physically changes that place. From there we see new ways to think, make and do new things, always driven by a desire to improve the habitats we build for ourselves. And as the work diversifies and recombines, and as more people migrate to cities to pursue work, these settlements become cities.

Today, as we continue to pursue the work we are passionate about, we evolve our selves and our cities. This is a survival skill, yet building our cities is a quest to do much more than survive. We work to thrive, and as we each do so we create the conditions for everyone to thrive for our individual work accumulates into the city habitats we now live in. We are building the nests we need.

Volunteering to maintain and create places for neighbours to gather is work. Helping your child with homework is work. Feeding your family is work. Pursuing your passion in nanotechnology is work. Writing stories is work. Making art is work. Cleaning the school is work. Building a home is work. Planting a garden is work. Fundraising for homeless shelters is work.

All work shapes our cities

All work matters.

How do you shape your city to meet your needs?


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This post is part of Chapter 8 – The City Making Exchange. Here are some plot helpers of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities, the book I am sharing here while I search for a publisher:

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