A Multidisciplinary Approach
Edited by Francisco J. Carrillo and Cathy Garner
The world today is facing an unprecedented concurrence of threats both natural and human-driven, ranging from climate change, humanitarian crises with mass migration, water and food shortages to political intrusions, high- and low-intensity conflicts, new wars, slavery, terrorism and chemical weapons. The shock and turbulence they produce have become an intrinsic property of reality, creating an unstable and insecure world in which to live, at the beginning of "Anthropocene". The Anthropocene era is a new geological epoch characterized by pervasive human influence on Earth's system, its atmosphere, lands, oceans, and biogeochemical nutrient cycling (Crutzen & Stoermer, 2000; Crutzen, 2006). It seems "to show high rates of free energy flows. The need to change and to adopt wisely to this liquid environment is increasing the sensations of insecurity and fragility experienced by people" (Peres et al., 2019: 117).
Cities are in the front line of climate change. They not only need to cope with the unprecedented challenges it creates but due to the significance of their contribution to that change, must be vital protagonists in its mitigation. This timely volume has done much, not only to explore why it is important for cities to take action, but more importantly perhaps, to highlight current barriers and blockages that we face in seeking to drive that change and to propose ways in which they may be overcome.
The World Capital Institute's (WCI) decision to shift from its narrower dedication to the theme of knowledge cities and regions since its inception to the larger question of the future of the planet in a new Earth Age, namely the Anthropocene, laid the foundation for an ambitious new programme of work for the Institute. The title of this book addresses two dimensions, each of which encompasses an entire scientific agenda, and which would have to find its reflection in an extensive scientific infrastructure. Both "disciplines", that of knowledge science and that of the science of the Anthropocene, already fill entire libraries. For our book project, the difficulty was to make the right choice of "spotlights" on the range of topics here, a decision which was excellently mastered by its main editor.