Our second collection of solar futures, Cities of Light, follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, but with a twist, leveraging the unique cultures, economies, and geographies of Chicago, San Juan, San Antonio, and Portland to inform and explore a dialogue about post-carbon cities in possible future visions of the United States. Imagined in collaboration with researchers at the Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, S.B. Divya, Deji Bryce Olukotun, and Andrew Dana Hudson illuminate what life might be like, living under solar panels, for the diverse inhabitants of the cities of tomorrow. Even more importantly, however, they illuminate how the political economies of energy might intersect with the United States’ fraught politics of race and class—and what it will take to make the future of the solar-powered city not only sustainable, but also just.
A collection of science fiction stories, art, and essays exploring how the transition to solar energy will transform cities; catalyze revolutions in politics, governance, and culture; and create diverse futures for human communities.