Planetary Boundaries Intra Muros: Cities and the Anthropocene
Forthcoming in: Duncan French and Louis J. Kotzé (eds.), Research Handbook on Law, Governance and Planetary Boundaries, Edward Elgar (2020).
24 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 29, 2020
At first sight, the relationship between planetary boundaries and cities might be obscure. Closely related to the concept of the Anthropocene, responding to the planetary boundaries in a holistic and integrated manner seems to call for global solutions. Yet, it is important to downscale governance approaches, if only to solicit support for these attempts at all levels of governance. But what can cities and their governance offer in this respect? This chapter canvasses the relationship between cities, planetary boundaries and the Anthropocene. It portrays some of the many promises that a turn to the city seems to bring in this respect, in particular through forms of innovative urban governance. However, the chapter contextualises these promises and looks at some of the potential shortcomings that are associated with the recent adoration of cities as more responsible and benign units of governance. The chapter ultimately shows how cities are inevitable bundled up in the processes which bring us closer to the planetary boundaries and which have created the Anthropocene. The planetary boundaries run right through them.
Keywords: international law, global governance, planetary boundaries, cities, urban governance, global networks of cities, anthropocene, privatisation, smart cities
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation