As Klinenberg argues, the biggest threat to our survival is our inability to slow or reverse the pace of climate change. However, just because we cannot prevent severe weather from occurring doesn't mean we can't be better prepared for them. As he discovered while researching for his book Heat Wave, there were certain groups of people living in specific areas of Chicago who fared better than others in the 1995 heat wave. By pinpointing who is the most resilient during a crisis, we can then take the necessary steps to protect the most vulnerable—and mimic the conditions of the least vulnerable—in preparation for an upcoming extreme weather event.
Klinenberg is an expert on societal interaction and has devoted a large portion of his work to understanding the makeup of cities. His breakthrough new book, Going Solo, explores the increasingly popular trend of living alone and explains that a rising number of people are now choosing to go solo. Understanding the way people live and interact with others around them is crucial to effective urban planning, he explains in the article. Withstanding potential threats requires a firm understanding of the demographic makeup of the area set to be hit the hardest by an impending storm. As he notes in his writing and his speeches, we can make more informed decisions if we dig deeper into emerging trends in demographics—and thus, can build better, stronger, and more prosperous cities in the process.