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Future cities: Renarrating human agency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Number of pages4
JournalPalgrave Communications
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Accepted/In press26 Mar 2018
E-pub ahead of print10 Apr 2018


King's Authors


The media coverage of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the city of Houston in August 2017 reveals an ‘Anthropocenic’ sensibility, which tends to deny our ability to solve pressing environmental and social problems through strong and direct human action. This sensibility is reflected at city level in new forms of governance, exemplified here with reference to resilience, smart urbanism, and design-thinking. These have in common a cautious, inductive logic of change; their limited imaginations of space and time imply a dispersed sense of human agency. But if these new rationalities are unlikely to yield convincing solutions to problems such as Hurricane Harvey, perhaps there is a need to rethink the dominant framing of the Anthropocene which underpins them.

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