National Geographic : 1976 Jul
Five Noted Thinkers Explore SRE the suburbs dead? Will there be an economic resurgence of our inner cities? Will larger and larger units of government take more and more control over land use? Is mankind in general entering an era of greater affluence, of new and different attitudes toward land ownership? Is the oil crisis a blessing in disguise? These were some of the questions posed when NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC invited a group of famed thinkers to discuss possible outlines for the future. During the day-long seminar at Society headquarters (right), ' mind-stretching innovator Buckminster Fuller arranged Styrofoam balls to illustrate the rigidity of conventional assumptions. Panelist to his left is author Isaac Asimov and to his right is city planner Edmund N. Bacon. From the GEOGRAPHIC, writer Peter T. White muses with chin in hand; Editor Gilbert M. Grosvenor listens at lower left. Opening the meeting, Mr. Grosvenor said, "We at the GEOGRAPHIC are pretty good at researching the past. But we're neophytes when it comes to probing the future. That's why you are here." The discussion that emerged from around this table was as diverse and thought provoking as the panelists themselves. Following is a digest of their remarks.