Climate Cosmopolitics and the Possibilities for Urban Planning

in Nature and Culture
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ABSTRACT

Cosmopolitical action in a climate-changed city represents different knowledges and practices that may seem disconnected but constellate to frame stories and spaces of a climate-just city. The question this article asks is: how might we as planners identify and develop counter-hegemonic praxes that enable us to re-imagine our experience of, and responses to, climate change? To explore this question, we draw on Isabelle Stengers’s (2010) idea of cosmopolitics—where diverse stories, perspectives, experiences, and practices can connect to create the foundation for new strategic possibilities. Our article is empirically informed by conversations with actors from three Australian cities (Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth) who are mobilizing different approaches to this ideal in various grassroots actions on climate change.

Contributor Notes

Donna Houston is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her current research explores political ecologies of urban nature, critical and creative geographies of activism and place-making, and urban planning and environmental/climate justice in multispecies worlds. Address: Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia. E-mail: donna.houston@mq.edu.au.

Diana MacCallum is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Planning and Geography at Curtin University, Western Australia. Her research interests include the practices and discourses of planning governance, community involvement in urban and regional development, and social innovation. Address: Department of Planning and Geography, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, Perth, Western Australia 6102, Australia. E-mail: Diana.Maccallum@curtin.edu.au.

Wendy Steele is an Associate Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS) and Centre for Urban Research (CUR) at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Her current research focuses on cities in a climate of change with an emphasis on climate justice, critical infrastructure, and urban governance. Address: RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia. E-mail: wendy.steele@rmit.edu.au.

Jason Byrne is Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning in the Griffith University School of Environment, Gold Coast, Australia. His research interests encompass urban green space, environmental justice, protected area management, climate change adaptation, and political ecologies of urban nature. Address: Griffith School of Environment, Gold Coast campus, Griffith University, QLD 4222, Australia. E-mail: jason.byrne@griffith.edu.au.

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