Cities hold the future for a sustainable world

The weakened state of the environment in the United States by Donald Trump, and in Brazil by Tropical Trump (Bolsonaro), should make us reflect on how one person can have so much power and decide over so many people on key areas such as climate change.

To me, this is the legacy we have derived from our country (state) dominated worldview, and it is damaging the real world (the Earth). But I see hope in the form of cities. Cities are leading the way, with initiatives like the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and many small regions are increasingly demanding autonomy to tackle environmental issues on their own.

Cities are positioned to become global leaders because they are already economic and political powerhouses. In the 21st century, more people live in urban than in rural areas. And so we must ask, and demand I say, that cities come up with innovative governance frameworks to enhance sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

A smaller world is a beautiful world, and more ecologically sound. Cities and regions have existed forever, whereas countries are a recent, failed experiment that will not last very long.

The path forward is for self-determined smaller political units that need to cooperate and trade to thrive, like cities. As Parag Khanna says in his book Connectography “the surging trends of migration, urbanization, and proliferating identities present global cities as a major alternative to nations and nationalism as the foundations of global social order”.

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