|Zeitschrift für Stadtforschung|
Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography in the School of Education, Environment and Development at Manchester University. His research interests include political-ecology, urban governance and politics, democracy and political power, water and water resources, the political-economy of capitalist societies, and the politics of globalisation. His current work focuses on the transformation of urban governance and politics on the one hand and environmental governance/politics on he other. He holds the 2014 Vincent Wright Chair in Political Science at Sciences Po, Paris.
Maria Kaika is Professor of Human Geography in the School of Education, Environment and Development at Manchester University. She holds a D.Phil. in Geography from the University of Oxford, and an MA in Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens as well as professional qualifications as an architect. She is Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. In 2012, she was appointed City of Vienna Visiting Professor. She is author of, among others, 'Cities of Flows' and co-editor of 'In the Nature of Cities'.
Artikel aus Ausgabe 55
urbanize - Int. Festival für urbane Erkundungen
Radical urban political-ecological imaginaries:
Planetary urbanization and politicizing nature
It is vitally important to recognize that galloping planetary urbanization is the main driver of major, and often irreversible, socio-ecological transformations. Planetary urbanization refers to the fact that not only the majority of the world’s seven billion people live in cities (and set to rise to 70% by 2050), but – more importantly – that a much greater number of people, often not living in places defined as cities, are directly or indirectly involved in assuring the continuation of the global urbanization process. Indeed, the sustainability of contemporary urban live – understood as the expanded reproduction of its socio-physical form and functioning – is responsible for 80% of the world’s resource use (Bulkeley and Betsill 2005) and most of the world’s waste. The ecological condition and the socio-ecological problems spurred on by accelerating urbanization render the city indeed the pivotal site for grappling with the environmental conundrum we are all in and the combined and uneven socio-ecological apocalypse it engenders. What we wish to foreground in this contribution is not to show the urban roots of the environmental conditions, but rather why and how these urban roots are customarily ignored in much of urban theory and practice, and how the feeble techno-managerial attempts to produce more sustainable forms of urban living (understood in terms of a more benign socio-ecological urban relationship) actually continue to sharpen the combined and uneven socio-ecological apocalypse that marks the contemporary dynamics of planetary urbanization. (…)