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anon (not verified)
that's correct. some people

that's correct. some people even see cities as indistinct from civilization. but apart from that, there is some truth to the statement that you're quoting.

cities were historically much smaller and less populated than the sprawling and towering mega-cities, megalopolises and conurbations we have going on now. originally, cities weren't a centrally planned and designed thing, you can look at the haphazard aspect of the footprint of the more antique and original parts of cities (were old enough and where still preserved) vs the modern and contemporary parts that were built recently.

rather than tearing them down and start from the bottom up in one go, as the naive aspiring technocrats of modernist architects and urbanist of the mid of last century proposed to do, they'll make gradual changes to make it easier and more efficient for them to govern, like they've always tried to do: the "Haussmannization", the Robert Mosesing, and older and newer examples. in the end, their modernist dystopias have been continously built and their vision remains intact for the most part.

historically fire has been a weakness of cities, with being a bunch of flammable stuff piled together and what not, but if things are spaced out and well surveyed, the fire can be contained before it spreads and ever be prevented before it happens (literally and figuratively). but spreading out things is also inefficient in terms of transport and fuels.
technological improvements in communication infrastructure, mainly roads, vehicles, the internet, etc. have made it more efficient to project power over vast empires.
those with power will always look for ways of innovating and improving what they're doing, or pay the consequences. making infrastructure resilient to "natural disasters", and the economy, to pandemics, and terrorism, and other threats to "national security.

those fighting power are pretty much fucked at this point. luddites made a point of breaking machines, but at this point, and onwards, maybe the human cogs in the machines are weakest link in the chain. Ted took this as meaning that he should murder those people crucial for the maintaining and improvement of this system and its infrastructure, every single person is involved in reproducing and maintaining it. Many eagerly cheering for it and enjoying its excesses so fully as to have no regrets. This last part answers the "how do you think so many people ended up living in them?" as much as the state's initiative.

as for what to do, the of meme version of Desert and Blessed is Flame are often shared, and for some they suffice as answers of the attitudes and the practices to adopt. some resort to committing to tend to wild habitats or to rewilding wherever they are, and part of that is being vegan for some

but for more than half of the world's population, "proper"cities will remain their habitat for the next decades and "the built environment" (whatever flavor of civ you got) is increasingly the main environment humans get to live in, to explore and get to know, or even be familiar with.

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