A friend pointed this video out to me: James Howard Kuntsler at the TED talks.
Mr. Kunstler is a critic of modern cities and urban development. In his view, we, as citizens, have lost focus on the value and necessity of public spaces. Further, our future lies not in maintaining the status quo, nor in hoping for a super-car that lets us commute longer and easier. Instead, the future lies in reclaiming urban spaces and in revitalizing the blocks and courtyards of cities in other cultures that we, as Americans, have forgotten. The future will necessitate the redevelopment of our cities by making smaller spaces, more public spaces, more local spaces.
From the video:
"Please stop referring to yourselves as consumers. Consumers do not have obligations resp and duties to their fellow human beings. And as long as you're using that word "consumer" in the public discussion, you will be degrading the quality of that discussion."
(EDIT: I'm having some trouble getting the video to embed properly. Here is the link to the video on TED.com.)
The TED talks are a series of presentations and speeches given at conferences every year by the world's leading thinkers and activists. They have a very nicely designed and easy to use website with full video presentations for most of their speakers. Please give it a look.