Romancing the City: Three Urbanization(s) of Green Internationalism

  • Yonn Dierwechter
Part of the Cities and the Global Politics of the Environment book series (CGPEP)


This chapter builds on the conclusions of Chapter  3, using the metaphor of “romance” to assess the rise of cities as they have engaged states and international organizations, and vice versa. While international affairs have environmentalized, global environmentalism in turn has strongly urbanized in recent decades. The discussion thus presses the case for how urban space was steadily reconceptualized after the denouement of the Cold War as a “global solution” to ecological challenges. One major implication is that political ecologies have now “delocalized” and “upscaled,” a process that has caused its own tensions and political contradictions. Attention is paid to signature initiatives like Local Agenda 21, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the rise of inter-municipal policy networks, and recent “smartness” discourses. In particular, the chapter identifies three distinctive kinds of urbanizations: international, transnational, and smart. Each section considers major world cities to help illustrate synoptic themes. Cape Town, Los Angles, and Melbourne receive special treatment, respectively.


International urbanization Transnational urbanization Smart city urbanization Cape Town Los Angles Melbourne 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Yonn Dierwechter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Washington TacomaTacomaUSA

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