Global urbanism: Urban governance innovation in/for a world of cities

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Global Urbanism: Knowledge, Power and the City


Despite its currency, ‘global urbanism’ is a nebulous concept deployed in dissonant registers that offer diverse perspectives on the dynamics of a global urban age. This chapter considers another invocation of global urbanism: one that echoes a postcolonial appreciation of the diversity of processes and relations defining a ‘world of cities’. This is a form of global urbanism that frames maniform global challenges-climate change, resource consumption, economic expansion, inequality and poverty, biodiversity, migration, and so on-both as distilled in and governable through cities’ diverse social, material and political capacities. Urban governance innovation can be traced across three key dimensions. First is relations. A second dimension is the proliferation of mechanisms aimed at nurturing innovation that builds operational and financial capacity. Finally, distinctive operational transformations are being fomented by the political necessity to maintain legitimacy as essential to the authority to govern. Dispositif thinking displaces the city as a predetermined territorial object of enquiry.

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