Description - Ethical Cities by Brendan F.D. Barrett

Combining elements of sustainable and resilient cities agendas, together with those from social justice studies, and incorporating concerns about good governance, transparency and accountability, the book presents a coherent conceptual framework for the ethical city, in which to embed existing and new activities within cities so as to guide local action.

The authors' observations are derived from city-specific surveys and urban case studies. These reveal how progressive cities are promoting a diverse range of ethically informed approaches to urbanism, such as community wealth building, basic income initiatives, participatory budgeting and citizen assemblies. The text argues that the ethical city is a logical next step for critical urbanism in the era of late capitalism, characterised by divisive politics, burgeoning inequality, widespread technology-induced disruptions to every aspect of modern life and existential threats posed by climate change, sustainability imperatives and pandemics. Engaging with their communities in meaningful ways and promoting positive transformative change, ethical cities are well placed to deliver liveable and sustainable places for all, rather than only for wealthy elites. Likewise, the aftermath of shocks such as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic reveals that cities that are not purposeful in addressing inequalities, social problems, unsustainability and corruption face deepening difficulties.

Readers from across physical and social sciences, humanities and arts, as well as across policy, business and civil society, will find that the application of ethical principles is key to the pursuit of socially inclusive urban futures and the potential for cities and their communities to emerge from or, at least, ameliorate a diverse range of local, national and global challenges.

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