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Cities and the Interstate System

"The future of cities lies in their ability to harness the power of technology to solve complex urban issues and create sustainable, livable communities.” - Michael Bloomberg

Join Keerthi as she takes us on an adventure through cities and technology! She introduces the show with a fascinating segment of Nerd Extraordinaire! She talks about how debate can build a community and bring people together. You trace the steps you would take if you were to make your opponent’s conclusions, and find the holes in those steps that you emphasize to the judge. So, whether you notice it or not, all debaters consider - even if it’s just for a moment - the possibility that they are wrong. This forms a seemingly alien form of empathy. In segment two, our guest, Vikram Anantha, shares his research about cities and highways. In the 1950s, President Eisenhower enacted a bill to construct the Interstate system to connect the United States. While it worked on a nation-wide scale, its main mistake was constructing it within the city, as it had disastrous effects. His paper describes how urban areas became polluted, divided, and desolate, and many of these effects had racist intentions. In recent years, many cities have begun to right these wrongs, with help from the Biden Administration, by deconstructing the highways and reclaiming their land. Keerthi and Vikram discuss the negative and positive effects the Interstate System had on cities. Keerthi ends the show with her third segment! She discusses how we can effectively use technology to improve quality of life.

Bios: Vikram is a student at Lexington High School, in Massachusetts, Class of 2024. He enjoys coding, and has a hobby of taking photos and making movies - especially of people. Because he is his school's Yearbook Photo's editor, he gets to capture photos of people in their best moments: having fun, enjoying with their friends, and more. In addition, he loves cities and urban areas. He uses his experience with photography to capture cities in their golden hour, and uses his knowledge of coding to make cities "smarter": integrating technology to cities to make the environment safer, greener, and helpful to its people. When Vikram is not coding or taking photos, he is playing tennis or enjoying time with his friends.


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