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Climate Crisis and the Democratic ProspectParticipatory Governance in Sustainable Communities$
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Frank Fischer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594917

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199594917.001.0001

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Urban Sustainability, Eco-Cities, and Transition Towns: Resilience Planning as Apolitical Politics

Urban Sustainability, Eco-Cities, and Transition Towns: Resilience Planning as Apolitical Politics

Chapter:
(p.207) 9 Urban Sustainability, Eco-Cities, and Transition Towns: Resilience Planning as Apolitical Politics
Source:
Climate Crisis and the Democratic Prospect
Author(s):

Frank Fischer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199594917.003.0010

After having explored various locally oriented projects in participatory governance that present practical alternatives to the theory of deliberative democracy, this chapter examines the democratic participatory potentials and realities of other local initiatives. It looks at the participatory activities of cities, including large cities, with a particular focus on the role for citizens in programs designed for adaptive responses to the consequences of climate change. Sponsored by city officials, these participatory initiatives are seen to be largely top-down in nature and not generally democratic per se. We then turn to the Transition Town movement, often cited by environmentalists as a progressive ecological alternative founded on citizen engagement. The participatory activities of this movement, while ecologically credible, are shown not to be geared to the furtherance of democratic practices. One main reason has to do with its emphasis on the theory of resilience, which ignores the political questions raised by ecological transition.

Keywords:   participatory governance, eco-city, Transition Town, sustainability, adaptation, resilience theory, apolitical politics

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