Social and political infrastructures of resilience: Cities as leaders in climate change governance?
Results/Conclusions: The use of urban governance in climate change policy has resulted in several transformations of political arrangements with respect to climate change, including shifting political discourse to understand climate change as both a local and global issue, the use of multi-level governance to challenge inaction at national and international levels, and the integration of climate change into urban planning and design. Three key challenges also arise when examining whether or not cities can address the problem of climate change. First, the spatial and temporal complexity of greenhouse gas inventories and carbon-centered policies are a particular challenge for assessing and monitoring progress towards a city’s climate related goals. Second, the urban political economy of cities often means that local governments target their climate policies towards public infrastructure and private choices, rather than carbon intensive development. Third, political debate on climate change often centers on scientific and technical aspects of policy implementation, to the exclusion of more complex social and ethical debate about who is responsible and what knowledge is needed to address the problem of climate change. All of these successes and challenges of urban climate governance are considered with respect to the possibility for a future with more effective, equitable, and resilient political institutions for addressing climate change.