I feel behind the times in my recent discovery of the Whole Earth Catalog and its founder-visionary, Stewart Brand. Maybe I was never "granola" enough (although I like making actual granola.) The names seem familiar, but it was only in digging deeper lately that I discovered this tenant of environmental counterculture, and how Brand's work and energy continues even today, 40+ years after the first publication of the Catalog.
There's more to say, but with a looming thesis prep deadline, I leave this video of a 2009 TED talk given by Brand to the US State Department. Here, he makes some interesting claims about the essential economics of slums, the benefits of proximity in the developing world, among other points relevant to urban expansion and sustainability: