Markets, Survival, & Resilience: A Global Survey of Urban Climate Strategies

Authors: Victor Gregor Limon*, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Urban Geography, Global Change
Keywords: resilience, climate change, neoliberalism, urban planning
Session Type: Paper
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Resilience today dominates the contemporary discourse of climate change. Employed in various ways by people, organizations, local governments, states, private enterprise, and global institutions, resilience commonly evokes and invokes concepts of nature, the future, survival, sustainability, and to an increasing extent, equity. But how do these concepts define the limits and possibilities of resilience? How do they relate to each other and to the climate crisis? What does resilience mean for the poor and marginalized? A survey of urban resilience strategies produced by member cities of the 100 Resilient Cities Network demonstrate the central role of "resilience" in the production and performance of a neoliberal climate change discourse centered on survival as "freedom." Many of these strategies have been adopted as city ordinances and are now implemented by newly created city agencies devoted to climate change. Given accelerating rates of urbanization, cities are currently leading the global response to the climate crisis, and these current crop of climate action strategies are shaping what that response will look like.

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