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International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities

International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities

Elgar original reference

Edited by Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor and Frank Witlox

This Handbook offers an unrivalled overview of current research into how globalization is affecting the external relations and internal structures of major cities in the world.

Chapter 50: Sydney: The Wicked Power-geometry of a Greening Global City

Michele Acuto

Subjects: geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, regional studies, urban studies


Michele Acuto Sydney’s newest urban strategy, the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Vision, sets out to create a ‘green, global and connected’ metropolis that wants to be capable of challenging urban giants like New York and London. Green is the centrepiece of this master plan, which seeks to situate sustainability at the core of Sydney’s competitive and innovative edge. This chapter seeks to sketch the lifestyle imagineering that underpins Sydney’s global growth, the move to a green theme in urban planning, the multiscalar governance process that defines Sydney politics, and the increasingly central urban entrepreneurialism of the city’s governance. As I argue, the ‘Harbour City’ has indeed succeeded in improving its status as a world city, thanks to an increasingly entrepreneurial approach to urban governance which, in the long run, might set the city on a perilous ‘wicked’ path. THE CONSCIOUS RISE OF THE HARBOUR CITY Sydney has rapidly moved to a centre stage in both popular and academic discourses. It has firmly surpassed Melbourne, its long-standing national rival, to become Australia’s core settlement (Searle, 1996; Connell, 2000; Elias, 2003; Tonts and Taylor, 2010). It has become the country’s key mobility hub and primary link with the world economy (Hugo, 2008) and reached global recognition by hosting the 2000 Summer Olympics. At present, the city is an increasingly stable presence in the plethora of urban rankings that has sprawled amongst academic and journalistic publications. In GaWC’s revised roster, Sydney now occupies an ‘alpha1’ position that is second only to the everdominant NYLON...

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