Worlding cities through their climate projects? Eco-housing assemblages, cosmopolitics and comparisons

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In recent years, the built environment has emerged as a critical target of climate change intervention for urban governments around the world, engaging developers, professionals, activists and communities in a range of new eco-urbanism projects. While important contributions have been made, this paper suggests that critical academic and policy debates on urban climate politics have so far paid insufficient attention to the sheer divergence in urban experiences, concerns and public–professional responses elicited through such experiments worldwide. By juxtaposing architectural and other eco-housing practices from diverse cities on three continents—Kyoto (Japan), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Surat (India)—this paper aims to conjure a more cosmopolitan research imagination on how climatic solidarities may emerge in the face of multiple urban differences and inequalities. Towards this end, the paper mobilizes assemblage urbanism as a set of methodological sensibilities towards issues of knowledge, materiality, multiplicity and scale-making within situated and contested processes of urban ecological change. Drawing on the politics of thick description favored by assemblage thinking, I deploy situated ethnographies to suggest that eco-housing projects in Kyoto, Copenhagen and Surat engage professional and public actors in variable world-conjuring efforts, potentially opening up new micro-arenas for the articulation of more attractive, sustainable and just urban futures. While shaped by inequalities of power, resource and knowledge, such eco-housing assemblages, I suggest, also serve as spaces of collective experimentation and learning, in and beyond the particular city.
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)269-286
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2014

ID: 113866076