Twice a year
we release
a new number.
Enjoy V2N2
_

Rafael Fernández
Jun, 2022

International relations and the energy crisis: what has changed since war broke out in Ukraine?
_

In this piece, Rafael Fernández analyses the current and complex state of international energy relations, currently undergoing an upheaval unparalleled since the Yom Kippur War. Fernández argues that the war in Ukraine will only serve to reinforce, rather than weaken, the power held by dominant players on the energy market. However, regardless of how the situation develops, it is renewed concern around the issue of energy security that will serve as the catalyst for the implementation of a much needed new strategy for real energy transition, giving rise to radical change in the global energy supply.

+ MORE

Eduardo Barcesat
Feb, 2022

The future of human rights and overcoming anthropocentrism
_

The real sovereignty, social justice and economic independence of the peoples of the world depend on the effectiveness of the civil and political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights contained in the International Bill of Human Rights. Far away from being a lofty set of norms, Human Rights constitute a crucial contribution to face the ecosocial challenges of our time, provided that the State manages to rise up and legitimise itself as a guarantor of its full validity and effectiveness and becomes answerable to its citizens.

+ MORE

Patricio Cabello / Andrés Lomeña
Dec, 2021

A new political imagination: creating realistic utopias (part II)
_

The several crisis we are facing require that politics find new vehicles of communication and action that move beyond manichean paranoia and confrontation. This new issue of metapolis aims to transport us to that horizon of possibility, demonstrating that despite the inertia of the forces that seek to stop us, we can still succeed in creating a new political imagination.

+ MORE

Mariano Gómez Aranda
Nov, 2021

Medieval imaginary and Black Death: pandemic, medicine and religion
_

The current pandemic will have a direct effect on how we view and think about politics for years to come. It seems difficult to predict exactly how, but if we look back at the mediaeval Black Death, the largest pandemic humanity has experienced to date, it may impart some points of comparison and help us to reflect on how exactly our collective trauma from this experience may unfold. At what resulted in a pivotal moment in the middle of the 14th century, the Black Death also resulted in a rise in ‘fake news’ and xenophobia, which led to the expulsion, massacre and scapegoating of many Jewish communities. At the same time, it also marked a turning point in terms of the collective religious imaginary of the era. Rationalist interpretations of religious texts were introduced and provided a theological basis for the calls emerging from the medical community demanding sanitary measures in order to prevent contagion.

+ MORE

Romualdo Dias
Sep, 2021

Imagination and Action: Movements between Immanence and Transcendence
_

Working from the basis of the critical pedagogy tradition Romualdo Dias proposes a didactic framework that unites imagination and action. Only insofar as we dream—or only when we practice a certain metaphysical leap towards an imagination separate from factual realism—does change become possible. Romualdo connects the idea of utopia with education, crucial in the process of awakening the conscience to a greater immanence, or in other words, a realism that is expanding towards what is possible but as of yet realized.

+ MORE

David Bollier
Jul, 2021

Commoning and Changemaking
_

The old and new commons paradigm helps us name and understand a richer notion of value and create new types of socially constructive institutions based on bottom-up acts of participation, mutual support, conflict, negotiation, communication and experimentation.

+ MORE

Concha Roldán
Jun, 2021

Historical notes in a reflection on tolerance for a new political imaginary
_

Tracing the etymology and history of thought regarding the concept of tolerance informs the current and future political imaginary. Borne out of modernity, this concept and its origin was limited to a negative formulation of allowing something while not approving for it. In tracing modern thought, it evolved into a positive tolerance of other cultures, underpinned by justice, perspective and pluralism. If we truly understand its origin and evolution, tolerance does not translate to relativism or monolithic beliefs, but rather is a methodological tool with which to exchange knowledge, promote a situated rationality and achieve progress that can shape a new political imaginary.

+ MORE

Jo Guldi
Abr, 2021

Pandemics Occasion the Rethinking of Shared Technology
_

Past epidemics of malaria and cholera across the British empire taught lessons about shared infrastructure. While these diseases are largely eliminated in Europe, they endure in other parts of the world as a testimony to where money is spent, or not spent. Looking back on the history of disease, we witness how systemic crisis can stimulate change in public infrastructure. This epidemic is an opportunity to transform infrastructure yet again, perhaps this time utilizing technology to address and attempt to rectify the ways in which these systems can continue to exclude many communities and the developing world.

+ MORE

Joost Smiers
Feb, 2021

Roaming noise and other unwanted sounds. Protecting the public domain
_

Public spaces are full of sounds, many of which can be undesirable for the majority of individuals. Noise can affect our state of mind and health, but does not «ask permission» before entering our ears. While this kind of intrusion may not be immediately apparent, it is important that it be addressed as a public concern, given how it acts as a form of contamination that can damage the hearing or mental health of citizens. In short, as with other public matters, noise occupies the public space to the extent that it should be regulated in order to preserve our collective well-being.

+ MORE

Colleen Boland / Rafael Heiber
Dec, 2020*

The post-pandemic city: transnational cooperation and public policy
(Part II)

_

Insights from living with the repercussions and realities of the COVID-19 crisis for a full year now have demonstrated how a global meta-crisis can accelerate and exacerbate inequalities, further jeopardizing societal wellbeing. Still, examples of both concrete micro and meso level change within local communities, via citizen mobilization, have illustrated how reshaping the urban landscape is profoundly linked with the rural, as well as bears transnational implications. Restoring power to the public space, catalyzing participatory citizen networks and revolutionizing policy as based in solidarity and coexistence are crucial in rectifying the more profound, systemic crisis, to achieve a viable human and planetary future.

+ MORE

Felipe Llamas
Nov, 2020

Old challenges in a new context: the pandemic accelerating city multilateralism
_

The COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the legitimacy of national and international institutions, inspiring worrying trends of isolationism and protectionism. Meanwhile, as populations struggle to survive not only a health crisis, but one of social and economic dimensions, local authorities provide for the continuity of public services. These local and regional communities and their leaders recognize that the current situation calls for addressing systemic inequalities and an ecological transition. In order to achieve this societal wellbeing, transnational cooperation between these diverse localities, grounded by the immediate needs of their populations, is the way forward.

+ MORE

Bob Black
Sep, 2020

Work After Coronavirus
_

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have been crippling, and unemployment is rampant. Up until now, the economy has been divided rather arbitrarily into a primary agriculture and extractive industry, a secondary manufacturing sector, and a tertiary «service» sector. The latter sector has become more and more bloated, with many unjustified jobs. Meanwhile, the pandemic has taught us that authoritarian and city-centric labor regimes are unnecessary. Work has the potential to be transformed into a new type of activity, an autonomous, productive play that allows for healthier, freer societies.

+ MORE

Saskia Sassen
Jul, 2020

Urban capabilities: those we want in our cities and those we should avoid
_

In considering cities and how we want to construct them, it is fundamental to analyze the actors shaping them, and their capabilities. Beginning in the late 1980s, the financial sector and its innovative capacity for extraction has played a key role on the global stage, in a very different manner from that of traditional banking and corporations. Now, with the COVID-19 phenomenon also resembling a global actor, it becomes all the more clear that, no matter how it is disguised, high finance operates to the detriment of local and household economies, as well as to the flow of urban spaces.

+ MORE

Manuela Carmena
Jun, 2020

Before and after the pandemic: a city of solidarity, creativity and participation
_

Solidarity, creativity and participation are the three main pillars upon which cities should be built. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven we cannot have healthy cities if the entirety of our citizens and government officials do not embrace the principle of solidarity. Participation is inherent to cities as public spaces of freedom. Last but not least, creativity is essential, as it allows us to imagine better worlds: it is only in imagining them that they can begin to be real.

+ MORE

Herta Däubler-Gmelin
Jun, 2020

The post Covid-19 challenge: a simple reset or a real change?
_

COVID-19 has exposed the very real weaknesses of global cooperation. It affects not only disenfranchised populations and underdeveloped countries, but also Europe. This pandemic has shaken a false sense of security among the more developed regions of the world. At the same time, we have witnessed how democratic societies are not necessarily less efficient than authoritarian ones when it comes to crisis management, and that far-reaching solutions are attainable when threats are perceived as sufficiently severe.

+ MORE

Laura Basu
Jun, 2020

The post-pandemic city beyond state and market: a thought experiment
_

The COVID-19 pandemic and the international racial justice movement sparked by the police murder of George Floyd have led many to deeply question the capitalist system of markets and nation-states. Bringing together fiction, theory, and real-world examples, this contribution asks the reader to imagine what a utopian city beyond both the state and the market might look like.

+ MORE

Mary-Jane Rubenstein
Mar, 2022

A Tale of Two Utopias: Musk and Bezos in Outer Space
_

It is probably old news to you by now: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos want us off the planet. Not all of us, of course, but according to both of these absurdly wealthy utopians, the future of the species will depend on those humans who have got the foresight, fortitude, and finances to head to outer space. But How can we hope to make a habitat out of Mars when we cannot even preserve the habitability of Earth?

+ MORE

Ramzy Baroud / Romana Rubeo
Jan, 2022

Beyond the ‘Interregnum’: Is a Non-Hegemonic World Possible?
_

Moscow and Beijing are clearly not basing their future relations on the outcome of the Ukraine war alone. What they are working to achieve is a long-term political strategy that they hope would ultimately lead to a multipolar world. Still, post-World War II U.S. hegemony seems destined to endure with Europe historically unable to integrate Russia and now even more dependent on NATO. Until the tussle is over, the world will continue to experience a transition, rife with possibilities but also dangers.

+ MORE

Jean Wyllys / Judith Butler
Dic, 2021

The power of dissident solidarity in the rise of ultraliberal authoritarianism
_

Judith Butler and Jean Wyllys reflect on the central role of solidarity in a context marked by the rise of a new global fascism. Conflict arises as a key element for the establishment of ineludible alliances to tackle the challenges we face. The authors concretely address the ultraliberal authoritarianism that has gained force in Brazil and the United States, as well as the reactionary far right that sees the LGBTQIA+ movement as a threat to the idea of family and nationalism. Unity, they argue, is the only possible political agenda. Marxists, progressives, feminists, queers—all of these forces are steering the same boat. There is no other option because otherwise they will capsize.

+ MORE

Antonio Penedo Picos
Oct, 2021

New poetics for the digital age
_

The divide which is becoming entrenched centres on separating the working subject from the real human like never before. The former is asked (though really they are forced) to attain a deep knowledge of only that subject matter which is deemed to be productive, while the latter seems to be asked for (or advised of, as it were) nothing. We regularly hear the World Health Organisation’s statistics on the rise of mental illness, not only in the Western world but also across the globe. Can we believe that economic thresholds are the sole deciding factor in these percentages? What if we started to consider that the opposite were true? It is at this juncture that digital language and nascent cyberculture once more take centre stage.

+ MORE

Sofía Coca
Ago, 2021

Cultural mediation for social change in pandemic times
_

Cultural mediation is an amalgam of practices, tools and methodologies that involve facilitation, support and recoding, but mediation is also the search for a common language, a language that may be new and invented and that seeks to inspire. A language that sometimes attempts to revive lost words or rituals. A language that sometimes resembles a patchwork quilt.

+ MORE

Andrés Lomeña / Patricio Cabello
Jun, 2021

A new political imagination: creating realistic utopias
_

We need new goals and a new language articulating these goals in order to rehabilitate the currently unhealthy sociopolitical climate. This entails drawing on historical ideals, but also allowing past mistakes to inform a new, ambitious, and credible program for change. Such change must move beyond individual needs and myopic political vision, grounding the new political imagination in explicit realism. to meet societal demands and chart a new future, such a proposal must have the capacity to attract, convince, and be driven by a combination of science, critical consciousness, and action.

+ MORE

Maysoun Douas
May, 2021

Towards a New Social Contract for the 21st Century
_

The decline of democratic systems, deepening inequalities, complex and bureaucratic international institutions, fragile social models and exploitation of the natural world can still be remedied. A new social contract could restore the space of active citizenship and invoke the global societal collaboration that our current reality demands .As part of this, we must understand where we have came from and the “truths” that have formed the basis of our societal construction up until now, and move past territorialization as inherent to citizenship. Instead we should look to digitization as the new engine of postmodernity, renewed democracy as a tool, and youth as key actors, in order to achieve future societal well-being and sustainability.

+ MORE

Steve Keen
Mar, 2021

A Modern Debt Jubilee
_

Our current societies, with advanced levels of industrialization and knowledge, continue to stymie innovation at the expense of the collective benefit. This is particularly manifested in the blind adherence to neoclassical economics and unchallenged economic systems. The «Modern Debt Jubilee» serves as one strategy with which to challenge these paradigms and provide solutions. It addresses the systemic problem of central banks printing trillions of dollars to lower interest rates to make asset owners feel richer and spend more, which does not engender economic growth due to the rich accumulating much of this new money into their existing assets. The Jubilee would leverage these same central banks to provide freshly printed money to the indebted, wiping the global debt slate clean.

+ MORE

Jesús Rey Rocha / Emilio Muñoz Ruiz
Jan, 2021

Science and democracy: institutions in search of a sociopolitical identity
_

Science and democracy are comparable in that they are not characterized by absolute truths, but rather «evolutionary» truths, which should be subject to constant critique and analysis. Both also possess internal and external dimensions; in the context of phenomena like the COVID-19 pandemic, the external dimension becomes crucial, as it links science or democracy to institutions and citizens. Recovery and regeneration of the current state of governance is possible, if there is a true pivot to empowered institutions and citizens. In order to overcome the systemic crisis that we face, a framework of strong, reliable and committed institutions, underpinned by an individual and collectively responsible citizenry, is the way forward.

+ MORE

Rebeca Grynspan
Dec, 2020
*

A new, «glocal» social pact for recovery
_

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a challenge in global coordination. More than ever before, multilateralism proves to be an indispensable tool in confronting major world challenges. The health crisis precipitated by the disease is merely symptomatic of greater environmental and systemic crises that threaten humanity. This necessitates a multi-level and multi-stakeholder social pact, involving cities as well as international organizations. We need institutions capable of engaging in innovation, as well as of achieving long-term and green agendas. The latter in particular uniquely presents the possibility of our civilization’s survival.

+ MORE

Fernando Carrión Mena
Oct, 2020

The Global Transurban System: Forms It Takes and New Challenges
_

COVID-19 has become a fundamentally urban disease: social interaction, so characteristic of cities, has put them all at the epicenter of this pandemic. Through the local integration process it is possible for us to identify the main assemblages that constitute the Global Urban Network. Recognizing the inter-urban and trans-urban logics means exploring an unchaperoned horizontal cooperation, and the transformation of the city-state relationship, both nationally and internationally.

+ MORE

Leticia Merino / Simone Buratti
Aug, 2020

Cities, COVID-19 and Commons in Latin America
_

Cities derive their value from commons: goods, benefits, or services collectively, used, created and preserved, and are governed by collective action. In the case of Latin American cities and megacities in particular, collective action and sharing of resources has taken place during the COVID-19 crisis. However, a history of colonialism, neoliberal policies and inequality make this region particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. This article traces the reasons why now, more than ever, the Latin American region must learn from this crisis in order to build more resilient and equal societies.

+ MORE

Rafael Heiber / Colleen Boland
Jun, 2020

the post-pandemic city: transnational cooperation and public policy
_

The COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate effects have not only triggered crises worldwide, but also have raised awareness about greater systemic failures that have been plaguing our modern society. Progressive advocates have already attempted to shed light on these problems, demanding alternative models. Further efforts might now resonate enough to implement them. As we present in the overview of all articles that compose the launch issue of metapolis, this is a step that depends on strengthened relations between transnational cooperation and public policy, to transform the life of citizens attuned to common values.

+ MORE

Alfredo Aguilar
Jun, 2020

let us give the future another chance
_

Science is a fundamental pillar for designing effective policies and guiding public-private efforts. From the current pandemic to climate change, all of humanity’s challenges are closely interlinked with the biosphere. Global challenges require global, and therefore synergistic, responses. We propose Bioeconomics and Biodiplomacy as two new tools to integrate local, national and global initiatives for the transformation we need.

+ MORE

Alfonso Zegbe
Jun, 2020

Socioemotional wellbeing: a revisited approach
_

This article presents an approach and vision that should be considered in the different stages of policy making, in order to promote the wellbeing and happiness of individuals and their communities. This proposal is presented as a transversal approach that can be applied to various sectors and social rights, including health and wellbeing, education and lifelong emotional learning, food security, urban and rural spaces and flows, and housing and human habitats. The article closes with some final reflections on the future of government interventions, and approaches to the concepts of wellbeing and happiness.

+ MORE

Wadah Khanfar
Jun, 2020

Covid-19 as a meta crisis and our post-pandemic order
_

This pandemic provides a space-time from which a new world order can emerge, based on the great potential of an interconnected social organization. A transition that requires re-imagined institutions and societies, as the power of ideas makes a new world history possible. The post-pandemic world may not be equitable or secure, but it will push humanity to build a more just alternative under a new value system that will make the common good prevail.

+ MORE

Twice a year
we release
a new number.
Enjoy V2N2
_

Rafael Fernández
Jun, 2022

International relations and the energy crisis: what has changed since war broke out in Ukraine?
_

In this piece, Rafael Fernández analyses the current and complex state of international energy relations, currently undergoing an upheaval unparalleled since the Yom Kippur War. Fernández argues that the war in Ukraine will only serve to reinforce, rather than weaken, the power held by dominant players on the energy market. However, regardless of how the situation develops, it is renewed concern around the issue of energy security that will serve as the catalyst for the implementation of a much needed new strategy for real energy transition, giving rise to radical change in the global energy supply.

+ MORE

Mary-Jane Rubenstein
Mar, 2022

A Tale of Two Utopias: Musk and Bezos in Outer Space
_

It is probably old news to you by now: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos want us off the planet. Not all of us, of course, but according to both of these absurdly wealthy utopians, the future of the species will depend on those humans who have got the foresight, fortitude, and finances to head to outer space. But How can we hope to make a habitat out of Mars when we cannot even preserve the habitability of Earth?

+ MORE

Eduardo Barcesat
Feb, 2022

The future of human rights and overcoming anthropocentrism
_

The real sovereignty, social justice and economic independence of the peoples of the world depend on the effectiveness of the civil and political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights contained in the International Bill of Human Rights. Far away from being a lofty set of norms, Human Rights constitute a crucial contribution to face the ecosocial challenges of our time, provided that the State manages to rise up and legitimise itself as a guarantor of its full validity and effectiveness and becomes answerable to its citizens.

+ MORE

Ramzy Baroud / Romana Rubeo
Jan, 2022

Beyond the ‘Interregnum’: Is a Non-Hegemonic World Possible?
_

Moscow and Beijing are clearly not basing their future relations on the outcome of the Ukraine war alone. What they are working to achieve is a long-term political strategy that they hope would ultimately lead to a multipolar world. Still, post-World War II U.S. hegemony seems destined to endure with Europe historically unable to integrate Russia and now even more dependent on NATO. Until the tussle is over, the world will continue to experience a transition, rife with possibilities but also dangers.

+ MORE

Patricio Cabello / Andrés Lomeña
Dec, 2021

A new political imagination: creating realistic utopias (part II)
_

The several crisis we are facing require that politics find new vehicles of communication and action that move beyond manichean paranoia and confrontation. This new issue of metapolis aims to transport us to that horizon of possibility, demonstrating that despite the inertia of the forces that seek to stop us, we can still succeed in creating a new political imagination.

+ MORE

Jean Wyllys / Judith Butler
Dic, 2021

The power of dissident solidarity in the rise of ultraliberal authoritarianism
_

Judith Butler and Jean Wyllys reflect on the central role of solidarity in a context marked by the rise of a new global fascism. Conflict arises as a key element for the establishment of ineludible alliances to tackle the challenges we face. The authors concretely address the ultraliberal authoritarianism that has gained force in Brazil and the United States, as well as the reactionary far right that sees the LGBTQIA+ movement as a threat to the idea of family and nationalism. Unity, they argue, is the only possible political agenda. Marxists, progressives, feminists, queers—all of these forces are steering the same boat. There is no other option because otherwise they will capsize.

+ MORE

Mariano Gómez Aranda
Nov, 2021

Medieval imaginary and Black Death: pandemic, medicine and religion
_

The current pandemic will have a direct effect on how we view and think about politics for years to come. It seems difficult to predict exactly how, but if we look back at the mediaeval Black Death, the largest pandemic humanity has experienced to date, it may impart some points of comparison and help us to reflect on how exactly our collective trauma from this experience may unfold. At what resulted in a pivotal moment in the middle of the 14th century, the Black Death also resulted in a rise in ‘fake news’ and xenophobia, which led to the expulsion, massacre and scapegoating of many Jewish communities. At the same time, it also marked a turning point in terms of the collective religious imaginary of the era. Rationalist interpretations of religious texts were introduced and provided a theological basis for the calls emerging from the medical community demanding sanitary measures in order to prevent contagion.

+ MORE

Antonio Penedo Picos
Oct, 2021

New poetics for the digital age
_

The divide which is becoming entrenched centres on separating the working subject from the real human like never before. The former is asked (though really they are forced) to attain a deep knowledge of only that subject matter which is deemed to be productive, while the latter seems to be asked for (or advised of, as it were) nothing. We regularly hear the World Health Organisation’s statistics on the rise of mental illness, not only in the Western world but also across the globe. Can we believe that economic thresholds are the sole deciding factor in these percentages? What if we started to consider that the opposite were true? It is at this juncture that digital language and nascent cyberculture once more take centre stage.

+ MORE

Romualdo Dias
Sep, 2021

Imagination and Action: Movements between Immanence and Transcendence
_

Working from the basis of the critical pedagogy tradition Romualdo Dias proposes a didactic framework that unites imagination and action. Only insofar as we dream—or only when we practice a certain metaphysical leap towards an imagination separate from factual realism—does change become possible. Romualdo connects the idea of utopia with education, crucial in the process of awakening the conscience to a greater immanence, or in other words, a realism that is expanding towards what is possible but as of yet realized.

+ MORE

Sofía Coca
Ago, 2021

Cultural mediation for social change in pandemic times
_

Cultural mediation is an amalgam of practices, tools and methodologies that involve facilitation, support and recoding, but mediation is also the search for a common language, a language that may be new and invented and that seeks to inspire. A language that sometimes attempts to revive lost words or rituals. A language that sometimes resembles a patchwork quilt.

+ MORE

David Bollier
Jul, 2021

Commoning and Changemaking
_

The old and new commons paradigm helps us name and understand a richer notion of value and create new types of socially constructive institutions based on bottom-up acts of participation, mutual support, conflict, negotiation, communication and experimentation.

+ MORE

Andrés Lomeña / Patricio Cabello
Jun, 2021

A new political imagination: creating realistic utopias
_

We need new goals and a new language articulating these goals in order to rehabilitate the currently unhealthy sociopolitical climate. This entails drawing on historical ideals, but also allowing past mistakes to inform a new, ambitious, and credible program for change. Such change must move beyond individual needs and myopic political vision, grounding the new political imagination in explicit realism. to meet societal demands and chart a new future, such a proposal must have the capacity to attract, convince, and be driven by a combination of science, critical consciousness, and action.

+ MORE

Concha Roldán
Jun, 2021

Historical notes in a reflection on tolerance for a new political imaginary
_

Tracing the etymology and history of thought regarding the concept of tolerance informs the current and future political imaginary. Borne out of modernity, this concept and its origin was limited to a negative formulation of allowing something while not approving for it. In tracing modern thought, it evolved into a positive tolerance of other cultures, underpinned by justice, perspective and pluralism. If we truly understand its origin and evolution, tolerance does not translate to relativism or monolithic beliefs, but rather is a methodological tool with which to exchange knowledge, promote a situated rationality and achieve progress that can shape a new political imaginary.

+ MORE

Maysoun Douas
May, 2021

Towards a New Social Contract for the 21st Century
_

The decline of democratic systems, deepening inequalities, complex and bureaucratic international institutions, fragile social models and exploitation of the natural world can still be remedied. A new social contract could restore the space of active citizenship and invoke the global societal collaboration that our current reality demands .As part of this, we must understand where we have came from and the “truths” that have formed the basis of our societal construction up until now, and move past territorialization as inherent to citizenship. Instead we should look to digitization as the new engine of postmodernity, renewed democracy as a tool, and youth as key actors, in order to achieve future societal well-being and sustainability.

+ MORE

Jo Guldi
Abr, 2021

Pandemics Occasion the Rethinking of Shared Technology
_

Past epidemics of malaria and cholera across the British empire taught lessons about shared infrastructure. While these diseases are largely eliminated in Europe, they endure in other parts of the world as a testimony to where money is spent, or not spent. Looking back on the history of disease, we witness how systemic crisis can stimulate change in public infrastructure. This epidemic is an opportunity to transform infrastructure yet again, perhaps this time utilizing technology to address and attempt to rectify the ways in which these systems can continue to exclude many communities and the developing world.

+ MORE

Steve Keen
Mar, 2021

A Modern Debt Jubilee
_

Our current societies, with advanced levels of industrialization and knowledge, continue to stymie innovation at the expense of the collective benefit. This is particularly manifested in the blind adherence to neoclassical economics and unchallenged economic systems. The «Modern Debt Jubilee» serves as one strategy with which to challenge these paradigms and provide solutions. It addresses the systemic problem of central banks printing trillions of dollars to lower interest rates to make asset owners feel richer and spend more, which does not engender economic growth due to the rich accumulating much of this new money into their existing assets. The Jubilee would leverage these same central banks to provide freshly printed money to the indebted, wiping the global debt slate clean.

+ MORE

Joost Smiers
Feb, 2021

Roaming noise and other unwanted sounds. Protecting the public domain
_

Public spaces are full of sounds, many of which can be undesirable for the majority of individuals. Noise can affect our state of mind and health, but does not «ask permission» before entering our ears. While this kind of intrusion may not be immediately apparent, it is important that it be addressed as a public concern, given how it acts as a form of contamination that can damage the hearing or mental health of citizens. In short, as with other public matters, noise occupies the public space to the extent that it should be regulated in order to preserve our collective well-being.

+ MORE

Jesús Rey Rocha / Emilio Muñoz Ruiz
Jan, 2021

Science and democracy: institutions in search of a sociopolitical identity
_

Science and democracy are comparable in that they are not characterized by absolute truths, but rather «evolutionary» truths, which should be subject to constant critique and analysis. Both also possess internal and external dimensions; in the context of phenomena like the COVID-19 pandemic, the external dimension becomes crucial, as it links science or democracy to institutions and citizens. Recovery and regeneration of the current state of governance is possible, if there is a true pivot to empowered institutions and citizens. In order to overcome the systemic crisis that we face, a framework of strong, reliable and committed institutions, underpinned by an individual and collectively responsible citizenry, is the way forward.

+ MORE

Colleen Boland / Rafael Heiber
Dec, 2020*

The post-pandemic city: transnational cooperation and public policy
(Part II)

_

Insights from living with the repercussions and realities of the COVID-19 crisis for a full year now have demonstrated how a global meta-crisis can accelerate and exacerbate inequalities, further jeopardizing societal wellbeing. Still, examples of both concrete micro and meso level change within local communities, via citizen mobilization, have illustrated how reshaping the urban landscape is profoundly linked with the rural, as well as bears transnational implications. Restoring power to the public space, catalyzing participatory citizen networks and revolutionizing policy as based in solidarity and coexistence are crucial in rectifying the more profound, systemic crisis, to achieve a viable human and planetary future.

+ MORE

Rebeca Grynspan
Dec, 2020
*

A new, «glocal» social pact for recovery
_

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a challenge in global coordination. More than ever before, multilateralism proves to be an indispensable tool in confronting major world challenges. The health crisis precipitated by the disease is merely symptomatic of greater environmental and systemic crises that threaten humanity. This necessitates a multi-level and multi-stakeholder social pact, involving cities as well as international organizations. We need institutions capable of engaging in innovation, as well as of achieving long-term and green agendas. The latter in particular uniquely presents the possibility of our civilization’s survival.

+ MORE

Felipe Llamas
Nov, 2020

Old challenges in a new context: the pandemic accelerating city multilateralism
_

The COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the legitimacy of national and international institutions, inspiring worrying trends of isolationism and protectionism. Meanwhile, as populations struggle to survive not only a health crisis, but one of social and economic dimensions, local authorities provide for the continuity of public services. These local and regional communities and their leaders recognize that the current situation calls for addressing systemic inequalities and an ecological transition. In order to achieve this societal wellbeing, transnational cooperation between these diverse localities, grounded by the immediate needs of their populations, is the way forward.

+ MORE

Fernando Carrión Mena
Oct, 2020

The Global Transurban System: Forms It Takes and New Challenges
_

COVID-19 has become a fundamentally urban disease: social interaction, so characteristic of cities, has put them all at the epicenter of this pandemic. Through the local integration process it is possible for us to identify the main assemblages that constitute the Global Urban Network. Recognizing the inter-urban and trans-urban logics means exploring an unchaperoned horizontal cooperation, and the transformation of the city-state relationship, both nationally and internationally.

+ MORE

Bob Black
Sep, 2020

Work After Coronavirus
_

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have been crippling, and unemployment is rampant. Up until now, the economy has been divided rather arbitrarily into a primary agriculture and extractive industry, a secondary manufacturing sector, and a tertiary «service» sector. The latter sector has become more and more bloated, with many unjustified jobs. Meanwhile, the pandemic has taught us that authoritarian and city-centric labor regimes are unnecessary. Work has the potential to be transformed into a new type of activity, an autonomous, productive play that allows for healthier, freer societies.

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Leticia Merino / Simone Buratti
Aug, 2020

Cities, COVID-19 and Commons in Latin America
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Cities derive their value from commons: goods, benefits, or services collectively, used, created and preserved, and are governed by collective action. In the case of Latin American cities and megacities in particular, collective action and sharing of resources has taken place during the COVID-19 crisis. However, a history of colonialism, neoliberal policies and inequality make this region particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. This article traces the reasons why now, more than ever, the Latin American region must learn from this crisis in order to build more resilient and equal societies.

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Saskia Sassen
Jul, 2020

Urban capabilities: those we want in our cities and those we should avoid
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In considering cities and how we want to construct them, it is fundamental to analyze the actors shaping them, and their capabilities. Beginning in the late 1980s, the financial sector and its innovative capacity for extraction has played a key role on the global stage, in a very different manner from that of traditional banking and corporations. Now, with the COVID-19 phenomenon also resembling a global actor, it becomes all the more clear that, no matter how it is disguised, high finance operates to the detriment of local and household economies, as well as to the flow of urban spaces.

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Rafael Heiber / Colleen Boland
Jun, 2020

the post-pandemic city: transnational cooperation and public policy
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The COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate effects have not only triggered crises worldwide, but also have raised awareness about greater systemic failures that have been plaguing our modern society. Progressive advocates have already attempted to shed light on these problems, demanding alternative models. Further efforts might now resonate enough to implement them. As we present in the overview of all articles that compose the launch issue of metapolis, this is a step that depends on strengthened relations between transnational cooperation and public policy, to transform the life of citizens attuned to common values.

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Manuela Carmena
Jun, 2020

Before and after the pandemic: a city of solidarity, creativity and participation
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Solidarity, creativity and participation are the three main pillars upon which cities should be built. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven we cannot have healthy cities if the entirety of our citizens and government officials do not embrace the principle of solidarity. Participation is inherent to cities as public spaces of freedom. Last but not least, creativity is essential, as it allows us to imagine better worlds: it is only in imagining them that they can begin to be real.

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Alfredo Aguilar
Jun, 2020

let us give the future another chance
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Science is a fundamental pillar for designing effective policies and guiding public-private efforts. From the current pandemic to climate change, all of humanity’s challenges are closely interlinked with the biosphere. Global challenges require global, and therefore synergistic, responses. We propose Bioeconomics and Biodiplomacy as two new tools to integrate local, national and global initiatives for the transformation we need.

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Herta Däubler-Gmelin
Jun, 2020

The post Covid-19 challenge: a simple reset or a real change?
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COVID-19 has exposed the very real weaknesses of global cooperation. It affects not only disenfranchised populations and underdeveloped countries, but also Europe. This pandemic has shaken a false sense of security among the more developed regions of the world. At the same time, we have witnessed how democratic societies are not necessarily less efficient than authoritarian ones when it comes to crisis management, and that far-reaching solutions are attainable when threats are perceived as sufficiently severe.

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Alfonso Zegbe
Jun, 2020

Socioemotional wellbeing: a revisited approach
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This article presents an approach and vision that should be considered in the different stages of policy making, in order to promote the wellbeing and happiness of individuals and their communities. This proposal is presented as a transversal approach that can be applied to various sectors and social rights, including health and wellbeing, education and lifelong emotional learning, food security, urban and rural spaces and flows, and housing and human habitats. The article closes with some final reflections on the future of government interventions, and approaches to the concepts of wellbeing and happiness.

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Laura Basu
Jun, 2020

The post-pandemic city beyond state and market: a thought experiment
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The COVID-19 pandemic and the international racial justice movement sparked by the police murder of George Floyd have led many to deeply question the capitalist system of markets and nation-states. Bringing together fiction, theory, and real-world examples, this contribution asks the reader to imagine what a utopian city beyond both the state and the market might look like.

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Wadah Khanfar
Jun, 2020

Covid-19 as a meta crisis and our post-pandemic order
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This pandemic provides a space-time from which a new world order can emerge, based on the great potential of an interconnected social organization. A transition that requires re-imagined institutions and societies, as the power of ideas makes a new world history possible. The post-pandemic world may not be equitable or secure, but it will push humanity to build a more just alternative under a new value system that will make the common good prevail.

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