To be hopeful about the future, just take a tour of the West.
Young entrepreneurs here are not hesitant to try something new, city halls are taking on the environment at a grassroots level, and universities are challenging old ways of thinking.
“If there’s one thing that towns and cities should be doing right now, it’s experimenting,” says Jamais Cascio, author of Hacking the Earth. "If you look at the [successful] cities of the future, what you will see are those that are actively producing energy and food and information.”
That said, we declare the 2010s the Decade of Experimentation and the West its laboratory. Click ahead for 20 cities leading the way.