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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: TruMcCarthy
Um, what evidence exists that anyone can trust any government?
The rise of the nation-state curtailed urban autonomy in many ways, but in recent years — as Greece’s current plight reminds us — nation-states have themselves lost a measure of control over their destiny. And it appears that cities are stepping into the breach.
Failing to obtain democratic reforms, activists in Hong Kong have taken to demanding outright autonomy. In recent weeks, the British government has announced plans to devolve power and funding to local city authorities, an event The Financial Times heralded as an “English revolution.” Mayors from five dozen cities met at the Vatican last month and pledged to combat climate change and mitigate its impact on the poor. In the United States, more than 200 cities have passed laws in recent years preventing local police from detaining suspects at the sole request of federal immigration authorities. One of the oldest prerogative of cities, after all, is to determine who lives in them.
Another is to ensure they are livable at all. Next year, the United Nations will meet to produce a common global strategy on urbanization. Like other recent international summits, Habitat III is expected to recommend decentralization of power to cities in the developing world, a shift already in progress. At the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, a global meeting usually dominated by national agendas, attendees recognized that “expenditures and investments in sustainable development are being devolved to the subnational level.”
Three factors help explain the push for decentralization: money, technology, and demography. “As cities become the major engines of national and international economic growth,” says professor Diane E. Davis, chair of Harvard’s Department of Urban Planning and Design, “they are able to marshal more economic and political power — at least informally.”