Category: Cities

Environmental Icon David Suzuki

This week we bring you an intergenerational conversation featuring David Suzuki, who is a Canadian scientist, activist, and media figure. Since the 1970s, Suzuki has hosted both radio and television shows about the natural world and environmental issues. A self-described “elder,” Suzuki READ MORE

Will Allen, Urban Farmer

As cities around the world absorb more and more people, many urbanites want to reconnect with local food. This has led to the rise and spread of urban agriculture, and at the center of this movement is Will Allen, the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Growing Power. In today’s episode, Allen shares his life story, and discusses his passion for urban agriculture and food security, as well as how urban farming can strengthen community READ MORE

No Ordinary Garbage

Trash. Garbage. Refuse. Waste. Call it whatever you like, this is the stuff we deal with everyday that we no longer want in our lives. It’s not that it has no value; it actually has negative value. That’s why we’re getting rid of it! And apart from remembering when to drag out the bins to the curb, our trash mostly stays out of sight and out of mind. But on today’s show, we explore what happens when we don’t look away and follow our trash READ MORE

Scars of the Past

Beneath Cambodia’s troubled history with the Khmer Rouge lies a complex agricultural legacy that reaches back centuries. Once the symbol of a thriving region, we see how a prolonged El Nino brought drought and increased human conflict, and how the ruthless Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge looked back to the temples at Angkor Wat and their proud agricultural heritage to motivate the atrocities of the Cambodian genocide. READ MORE

The Urban Equation

As cities continue to grow, scientists are trying to define the “Urban Equation” – a mathematical expression that defines not just a group of buildings, but a complex network of physical and social interactions.  Why?  Because our cities control previously elusive aspects of human evolution.  To understand our cities is to understand us.  In this episode, Luis Bettencourt and Tyler Nordgren discuss various elements of the urban equation.  We see how complex networks give rise to creativity; how to break an urban metropolis down into a series of mathematical symbols; and how our cities are dramatically affecting a cultural connection reaching back nearly 400 years.


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This episode was produced by Leslie Chang, Mike Osborne, and Miles Traer.
Additional music by Kevin Macleod (Tracks used: Finding Movement and Perspectives.  License available here)

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Research to reality: Eyewitness to the 2015 Nepal earthquake

After 30 years in high-tech marketing and general management, Anne Sanquini began a second career as a researcher studying how to motivate people to take precautionary action to protect their homes and school against earthquakes.  Her work over the past four years led her to Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. She was on the ground during the April 25 earthquake, the very quake she had been preparing for.
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The Odd Natural History of San Francisco

Our co-producer, Miles, gives a talk about San Francisco’s hidden nature that is simultaneously informative, funny, surprising and slightly uncomfortable (you’ll know what we mean when you get there). From the gold rush to the bay to the delicious food, Miles tries to explain why humans ever came to the Bay Area… hint: it involves geology.  The talk was given as part of a collaboration between the California Historical Society and the Odd Salon.


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Fire with Fire

Hello Gen Anthro fans! Today’s episode is a little bittersweet because we have to announce two things: 1) producer Leslie will be leaving the show (at least for a little while) while she travels across the country to learn how to become an even better producer!  2) Generation Anthropocene will be going on hiatus for the next few months as producers Mike and Miles complete their PhD programs.  We will be back! But it might be a few months.
BUT, before this happens, team GenAnthro got together for one final story!  As part of KCRW’s Radio Race event, we completed a story about “the last thing you’d expect.”  At the turn of the century, an American General lines the streets of a major American city with barrels of dynamite.  This is the story of what happened when he lit the fuses.  We call the story Fire with Fire and we hope you enjoy!  Thank you for all of your support and we’ll see you soon!


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ps. If you like our show, and you’d like to give Leslie a shout out for all of her amazing work and give her best wishes as she continues to be an awesome producer, please send those along to GenAnthropocene <at> gmail <dot> com.

The future of cars

Today, we discuss the future of the automobile and all of its possibilities with Sven Beiker.  Sven discusses car specialization and why the “Swiss Army Knife” car just won’t work.  We also talk about changing driver patterns, connecting your car to the internet, how changing cars might change our roads as well, along with a brief exploration of how the idea of our cars as a symbol of freedom might be shifting.  We also take a second to figure out how to say the plural of the Toyota Prius.


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San Francisco, the island within an island

Rebecca Solnit, a writer and native of the Bay Area, provides a brief history of San Francisco’s transformation from a working class port city to a center of technology after the dot com boom. We discuss foodies, Silicon Valley tech culture, the spike in real estate prices, and the gentrification of the city. Rebecca explains her work with historic maps that depict California as an island, and how that metaphor applies today beyond cartography as California moves from the edge to the center of the world.


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