If the rise of the city as a political force promises to supersede the influence of the nation-state—from the United Nations, say, to Cities United—then questions of citizenship, sovereignty, and the very idea of international law must be fundamentally rethought. Mayoral climate negotiations, local food production networks, innovative tax structures, and regional transportation initiatives are all concrete examples of how cities can implement and lead political agendas of their own, independent of the nations they are found within.
What are the opportunities and risks of these emerging geopolitical constellations, and how should we prepare for an urban, post-national future?
PhD Candidate in Architecture at Princeton University
Enrique gave the final word
The more important question here is, or course, to what extent is a city a legal object? Put another way, how do we understand a city as a kind of object that merits its own legal status and that “behaves” in a certain way in the international arena? (…) How can an understanding of the history of architecture and urbanism prepare us for our very urban future? Perhaps… an opportunity exists for those of us who are concerned with issues of architecture and urbanism vis-à-vis our current globalized condition to deploy history as an analytical tool. Following on the heels of people like [Gerald] Frug and [Mark] Mazower, we can go beyond thinking of the city as a legal concept, beyond the city as a possible outcome of various legal outcomes, and to think of the possible scenarios in which cities continue to be legal actors in our very near future. The question remains, what will these cities look like? Will they be less dense than we think? Will they span across continents? Should we even be prepared for a scenario where our world becomes increasingly de-urbanized?
Tuesday, October 12 at 10:24am
Selected list of words appearing in this and other conversations.