Extraordinary Cities

Extraordinary Cities

Millennia of Moral Syndromes, World-Systems and City/State Relations

Peter J. Taylor

In this innovative, ambitious and wide-ranging book, Peter Taylor demonstrates that cities are the epicenters of human advancement. In exploring cities as sites through which economies flourish, by harnessing the creative potential of myriad communication networks, the author considers cities from varying temporal and spatial perspectives. Four stories of cities are told: the origins of city networks; the domination of cities by world-empires; the genesis of a singular modern creative interval in which innovation culminates in today’s globalised cities; and finally, the need for cities to act as centres for human creativity to produce a more resilient global society in the current crisis century.

Chapter 8: Towards green networks of cities for the twenty- first century

Peter J. Taylor

Subjects: geography, cities, politics and public policy, international politics, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, cities


In the twenty-first century humanity will need its cities more than ever; they really will have to be extraordinary. Their task may be nothing less than saving the planet as a home for humanity. Please excuse the hyperbole, but things may get that serious in the lifetimes of people living today. However not everyone sees it this way. There is a long-term anathema to big cities by guardian elites that can be traced back at least as far as classical Greece and continues today. In times of challenge and stress it is understandable that people should look to a supposed simpler past at a presumed smaller scale. Trying to regain some control in a rapidly changing world, a return to the local, has been alluringly attractive. This was a common reaction to industrialization in the nineteenth century from both conservative and radical perspectives (Hunt 2004).

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