Beyond the ‘sustainable city-region’ – prospects for urban intelligence

Interesting thinking about the research on urban resilience in this post from Joe Ravetz, and the proposal of a synergistic way of going about urban transitions. The technological is not isolated. We know this, but it doesn’t translate into our energy and climate research. I think we need to question, however, the “value creation” aspect of the synergistic city-region: does this assume a continuation of the capitalist system of value creation? If so, then we must think about where we position these sorts of urban resiliences politically. The “synergistic” city-region model of urban resilience is a good first step, moving past the silo-ed purely techno-economic views, but we also need to think about opening up spaces for political action such that our sustainability agendas are also radically democratic. Energy/climate issues are central, and there is much work to be done!

Energy Vulnerability and Urban Transitions

Joe Ravetz reviews experience from ‘CURE-1’ (Centre for Urban & Regional Ecology), and the prospects for ‘CURE-2’ – Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy.

The text is based on an editorial for the Special Issue on ‘Urban Ecology and Resilience’, Town and Country Planning, October 2013. The Special Issue can be found here.

The first generation CURE – Centre for Urban & Regional Ecology – was set up in 2001 at the University of Manchester to work on ‘sustainable city-regions’: as promoted by the TCPA2: and explored in the large-scale case study City-Region 20203. Since then, models for urban planning and environmental policy have come and gone; but the state of the art in knowledge has made (we think) some progress. As CURE continues to evolve, from ‘urban ecology’ towards the wider agenda for ‘urban resilience’, we are keen to continue the debate.


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