The evidence that human activity is the cause of climate change is overwhelming. An ever-increasing number of institutions, from the UN to local governments, have declared a climate emergency. We have now entered the 6th Mass Extinction, one of our very own making. Activists, policy makers, scientists, across the world call for urgent action.
Our politics, economies, lifestyles, our homes and our cities, contribute to the extinction of life on the planet. This environmental crisis is interlinked to the perpetuation of social and economic inequality across and within the world’s cities. Poorer people, in poorer places, bear a disproportionate burden of the effects of the crisis primarily caused by the privileged minorities of wealthier nations and their self-preserving policies. We are faced with a global meltdown of our ecological, economic, and social systems. Still, mainstream climate change policies focus on mitigation strategies and action without challenging the structural causes of the crisis.
The dominant neo-liberal mode under which the majority of our cities develop and grow, many of the ways we urbanites live, work, and play, perpetuate an economically and environmentally extractive system that depletes not only our natural resources and biological diversity, but also our cultural richness, the resilience of our communities, our social infrastructure, our very health and well-being. Within this context to call for sustainability is to sustain destruction. The time is now to make the shift from sustainable development to regenerative culture.
There is no one definition for regenerative culture. Yet a multitude of emerging practices and discourses, such as permaculture, peer-to-peer economics, rewilding, have begun to trace a pathway towards the (re)creation of the conditions conducive to life in all its designs, systems, and processes.
Within this emerging paradigm what is the role of the city, its people, its institutions? How do we reimagine ourselves living, playing, working, in a city that nurtures the vital links between individuals, communities, and ecosystems? What does a city able to regenerate itself in a regenerated planet look like? And how do we get there?
The journal is calling for submissions that explore how the city, its political, social, and physical structure, its modes of labour, production, communication, and exchange, its culture, can bring about this radical shift.