Riut blog

I heart [insert great city]

RiutBag on Kickstarter now Since the dawn of clustering villages which has brought waves of mega cities over the course of history, our relationship with the city has been more love-hate than pure love. Greater economic opportunity, choice and cultural variety has brought with it higher expense, crime and stress. But whilst cities may feel like a big machine working against us at times, there is a personal side to the city discoverable all around us.

Our cities didn't grow organically over millions of years. They weren't dreamt up, built or maintained by machines and corporations. It's individual human beings working together and harnessing machine and computer power to do so. They designed, tested and built every square inch. Every door, step, lift and wall. Each window frame, tile and sign. And that's just the stuff we can see.

It's tempting to tut and curse when trains are late, flights cancelled and carriages full. Yet, that frustration may come from expecting perfection from the imperfect humans behind it all. That's why it's worth keeping an eye out for the little signs everywhere that show us the people who work to keep everything around us safe, running and growing.

Today I found hundreds of fingerprints halfway up the ceiling of the underground station, as I was passing through Paddington. Just a small reminder of the people working on every aspect of urban spaces around us.


It's mind-blowing to remember that it's a finite number of people - real, normal humans - with finite resources that keeps it all going second by second. And calming too, when the odd train is delayed or a signal broken, to remember it's because humans are behind it all.


I want urban dwellers to love the city around them today. Since 2009 the global balance tipped to over half the world's population living in urban spaces. That's why I set up Riut.

We can do more, as individuals for ourselves, to adapt to the city and strive to increase our quality of life here. That's why I created the RiutBag. It's a rucksack with no zips on the outside. They are all against your back so you can calmly and positively move around cities without suspicion, fear or concern.

That's my Revolution in user thinking. My Riut. What's yours?