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Towards Democratic And Ecological Cities

[I]f sustainability requires a sustainable democracy, then cities may be the places where democracy is most sustainable.1

-Benjamin Barber

Cities are an integral part of human history. With their creation a public space emerged, which allowed their inhabitants to experience true political freedom. The city gave birth to direct democracy and the concept of the polis – both based on the idea that citizens can and should collectively and equally self-manage their common urban life, in all its spheres. Such free cities networked with each other into democratic confederations. Their relation with the countryside was one of symbiosis and mutual aid.

With the expansion of empires, nation-states and capitalism, cities were submitted to the paradigms of political oligarchy and unlimited economic expansion. From a place that once provided shelter from feudalists and oppressors the city became a place that exploits and alienates its inhabitants, as well as the natural world that surrounds it. There are no more active citizens, but politically passive tax payers and vote casters.

However, the concept of the polis is not forgotten. Increasing popular dissatisfaction with the current state of urban life contains the seeds of a different city for the future. A growing number of people desire cities that will be viewed and managed as commons by their residents. Democratized urban space that will allow for a genuine right to the city to be experienced by the entire citizenry. Cities based not on fortification and stratification, but on inclusion and interaction. Urban spaces, focused on the quality of everyday life of all their inhabitants and surroundings, and not on financial profit and unlimited economic growth. In short, cities that don’t pollute but heal; where the citizen has direct interaction with his social and natural environment.

The foundations upon which such democratic and ecological spaces can once again be built are still present – like municipalities and neighborhoods. It is from within this grassroots level that we can steer our societies towards politically free and environmentally sustainable future.

Democratic Institutions

The famous hymn to the glory of man, the builder of cities and creator of institutions, ends with praise for the one who is able to weave together the laws of the land and the justice of gods to which he has sworn.2

-Cornelius Castoriadis

The basis on which such democratic and ecological cities should be built is a process of constant popular self-institution. In other words, this implies the collective creation of participatory decision-making bodies, through which the citizens are able directly to shape the laws and rules of their common urban habitat. Such democratic institutions will be nothing like the current bureaucratic ones that keep power away from the grassroots, but they also go beyond the anarchist slogan “make war on institutions, not on people”3, which implies that institutions as such are the obstacle to emancipation and self-determination. An institutional structure, based on direct citizen participation, will allow people to self-limit their activities so as for genuine freedom to emerge. This comes in line with Rousseau’s idea that the impulse of mere appetite is slavery, while obedience to a self-prescribed law is liberty4.

People from the independent cities of the Antiquity and the Middle Ages sought, through such self-institution of laws and constitutions, protection from kings, tyrants, nobles and oppressors. The oligarchic structure of the modern city, on the other hand, allows for growing inequality and precarity to reign. This is so due to the fact that the power is being centralized in the hands of the bureaucratic and business elites, while the citizens’ participation is being limited to vote-casting in elections.

The role of such democratic institutions is to make the exercise of non-statist, non-oppressive and non-capitalist power possible. Suitable decision-making bodies for this framework are the neighborhood assemblies and municipal councils, as demonstrated by Ancient Athens. The ancient Athenians based their city management on the ekklesia – a popular assembly in which all citizens had the right to directly participate in the management of public affairs – while choosing their magistrates by the means of sortition (choosing by lot), in order to avoid demagoguery or professionalization of the political realm. While the Athenian society had many shortcomings – like slavery and patriarchy – it still offered us the concept of the polis: a free city managed directly by its citizens.

The political foundations of our cities then, could be based not on a centralized bureaucratic mechanism, but on a network of popular assemblies, each one operating in neighborhoods or areas with populations between 30-50,000 (the amount of citizens in Ancient Athens that had the right to participate in the general assembly). These bodies will be the main locus of power, through which the citizens will shape the common framework of policies and laws by which all urban dwellers should abide .

Besides the assemblies, there is the need of municipal councils as a supplement for the exercise of grassroots power. Their members could be chosen by lot, following the democratic tradition, and remain revocable at any time if deemed that they exploit their position. Such institution will deal with routine tasks and will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the decisions, taken by the general assembly. The councils should hold their meetings (which must be public) as often as necessary (for example twice a week). The regular rotation of delegates (once every two, three months or more) will prevent the emergence of a hierarchy and will allow broader participation in the council.

One such democratic and ecological project is genuinely stateless, and thus strives to connect cities by means that radically differ from those of the nation-state. Instead, it unites them in confederations, in which every city maintains its sovereignty. Murray Bookchin describes5 that one such democratic confederation should be regarded as a binding agreement, not one that can be canceled for frivolous “voluntaristic” reasons. A municipality should be able to withdraw from a confederation only after every citizen of the confederation has had the opportunity to thoroughly explore the municipality’s grievances and to decide by a majority vote of the entire confederation that it can withdraw without undermining the entire confederation itself.

Post-Capitalist Municipalized Economies

An alternative [economic] system would be one that has both the desire and the ability to curtail or eliminate profit seeking in favor of humanistic values, practices, and institutions.6

-Janet Biehl

The paradigm of democratic and ecological cities implies that the economy will be municipalized, i.e. directly owned and managed by the citizens. In one such city, economic activities will be placed in the hands of the urban communities, under the direct control of the popular assemblies, councils and confederations. As author and activist Janet Biehl suggests, in this way the citizens would become the collective “owners” of their community’s economic resources7.

In one such paradigm, the inhabitants of the city don’t vote as workers and/or consumers. Instead they participate directly, as citizens, in the formulation and approval of economic policies regarding their neighborhoods and city. The citizen body will collectively determine its needs, as well as distribute the material means of life, decide how to use available resources, etc. The democratic institutions will allow for everyone in the community to have access to the means of life, regardless of the work he or she was capable of performing. Furthermore, with citizens forming collectively the economic policies of their city, there will be no space left for capitalist antagonism, as all economic entities will have to adhere to ethical percepts of cooperation and solidarity.

Regarding the economies of wider regions, which include more than one city, it will be up to the democratic confederations, as described above, to exercise power “from below”. As Biehl writes8,

the wealth expropriated from the property-owning classes would be redistributed not only within a municipality but among all the municipalities in a region. If one municipality tried to enrich itself at the expense of others, its confederates would have the right to prevent it from doing so. A thorough politicization of the economy would thereby extend the moral economy to a broad regional scale.

The municipalized economy of the post-capitalist city ceases to be, as Bookchin suggests9, an economy in the strict sense of the word. Instead, it becomes incorporated within the direct democratic political processes of the community, as it is democratically guided by humane and ecological standards. In one such economy, where people participate primarily as citizens, an ethos of public responsibility emerges. Since it is not only economic prosperity, in the narrow sense of the term, which is being sought, a more general quality of urban life, which includes things like healthy environment and strong communal bonds, becomes the prime target. As Andrew Flood wrote in 199510, in a society where we democratically control production, we will decide not to pollute, or to limit pollution to a level that can be absorbed. His suggestion stems from a post-growth logic, according to which the increase in production and consumption is not an end in itself. In such democratic and ecological paradigm, stewardship and self-limitation, aiming at the general increase of quality of life, replace the capitalist imperatives of unlimited expansion and competition for short-term profit.

Agriculture

I hope that […] many people will learn what is lost in a big city – so many people have become detached from agriculture.11

-Rita, urban gardener from Greece

The relationship between agriculture and the city will be radically transformed in the transition towards a post-capitalist democratic and ecological future. Nowadays food production is zoned away from urban areas. The food which reaches our cities arrives from distant areas in huge containers, produced by multinational industries, which only care for their narrow profits. There is much insistence on the way food is being packaged and promoted rather than its quality. Even products that are labeled biologically or organically produced are intended to make money, rather than increase the health of as much people as possible.

Nowadays those who run these agricultural industries have little contact or knowledge with/about the land on which their employees are cultivating. In fact, the way this domain is being managed does not differ considerably than any other wasteful, short-term oriented capitalist industry. This comes in stark contrast with earlier forms of agriculture. Ancient cities formed around farmlands. Their people viewed food cultivation as a spiritual activity, and its consumption as social ritual. There was this attitude of stewardship, rather than exploitation. The people of Ancient Athens, like Theophrasus, regarded the interaction of society with nature as relationship between two autonomous equal entities12. For indigenous people like the Cayuses in North America, the ground beneath them was alive, and they listened to it, in order to hear the “Great Spirit”13.

The high esteem the earth had in many of these societies had to do with their dominant paradigm. Many of them were rather feminine, in the sense that feminist conceptions of symbiosis within society and with nature were the basis of their worldview (except of the Greeks for example, but their departure towards patriarchy and gerontocracy was not as temporally expanded as it is for our modern societies). As it was the ground from which they cultivated their food, they considered it the mother of all life. Even today indigenous communities like the Zapatistas, which live close to their land, have built their mythology around the earth (and corn especially, as one of their main crops).

In one democratic and ecological future, where city life does not equal environmental degradation, agriculture is being integrated to a certain degree within the urban matter, while non-urban agricultural areas, which will still be vital for the feeding of the citizenry, will have to be integrated into democratic confederations, alongside self-managed cities, which means radical decentralization of the agricultural production into cooperatives and rural assemblies. This implies new democratized approach to agriculture, which as Bookchin suggests:

transcends the prevailing instrumentalist approach that views food cultivation merely as a “human technique” opposed to “natural resources.” This radical approach is literally ecological, in the strict sense that the land is viewed as an oikos—a home. Land is neither a “resource” nor a “tool,” but the oikos of myriad kinds of bacteria, fungi, insects, earthworms, and small mammals. If hunting leaves this oikos essentially undisturbed, agriculture by contrast affects it profoundly and makes humanity an integral part of it. Human beings no longer indirectly affect the soil; they intervene into its food webs and biogeochemical cycles directly and immediately.14

Jane Jacobs explains one such relationship between the urban and the rural in the following symbiotic way:

Big cities and countrysides can get along well together. Big cities need real countryside close by. And the countryside-from man’s point of view-needs big cities, with all their diverse opportunities and productivity, so human beings can be in a position to appreciate the rest of the natural world instead of to curse it.15

In the paradigm of democratic and ecological cities, nature is interwoven within the urban matter. This means that it will be present into the everyday life in an essential manner, unlike today, where large parks are among the few interactions a person can have, and not on a daily basis. While there will be need of certain urban planning towards such natural integration, it will be mostly up to the democratized social, political and economic relations. For example collectives and individuals could be producing food on unused urban surfaces like terraces, rooftops, parkings etc. This would also imply that networks of free, pollution-free, public transport should be expanded to such an extent as to liberate significantly the streets from car traffic (and consequently from the need for parking lots).

The integration of agriculture into the urban life will increase the food sovereignty of cities. But surely it will be not enough. Cities will have to establish a new type of relationship with the countryside (where most agriculture is taking place), based on collaboration and mutual aid, instead of domination and profiteering. Such relations will have to be based on democratic confederations which allow all involved to maintain their political sovereignty. This means that villages and rural towns will have to adopt the direct democratic approach of the democratic and ecological cities. Through this confederal level, urban dwellers could engage in participatory planning regarding their needs and send them to their rural allies, and vise versa.

Energy

The assumption that what currently exists must necessarily exist is the acid that corrodes all visionary thinking.16

-Murray Bookchin

The question of energy is of crucial importance when we discuss the future of our cities. Our contemporary heavily urbanized societies consume huge amounts of energy, which is being derived through environmentally degradative means.

The creation of democratic and ecological cities requires departure from our current energetic paradigm. Instead it implies changes in two basic directions: first, by going beyond the logic of technological neutrality, and second, by rethinking how our needs are being formed and towards what ends.

For the modernist Left, the problem is not our current technology but who owns it. For them technology is violent, wasteful and destructive only when used by the wrong hands (for example those of the capitalists). In their view, every technological innovation is not shaped by the context in which it was created, which in itself is really problematic view.

Driven by this logic, many on the Left imagine the post-capitalist city’s energetic needs being supplied by nuclear power. Their answer to the anti-nuclear movement is that our current dependence on fossil fuels is destroying our world and nuclear energy is the quickest way towards salvation. But they seem blind to the characteristics this energy source has, which were embedded in it by the contextual environment in which it emerged.

First of all, nuclear power is incompatible with decentralized and democratic forms of self-governance. Instead, as suggested by researcher Aaron Vansintjan, it requires large state subsidies and centralized planning17. According to him,

nuclear power requires a regime of experts to manage, maintain, and decommission; a centralized power grid; large states to fund and secure them; and, then, a stable political environment to keep the waste safe for at least the next 10,000 years. The technology is only 80 years old, modern states have existed for about 200, humans have only been farming for 5,000, and most nuclear waste storage plans operate at a 100-year time-span. To put it mildly, an energy grid dependent on nuclear means having lot of trust in today’s political institutions.

This is deeply political issue. The vision of a nuclear powered society implies the creation of a totalitarian-like organizational structure, a powerful state. The scale of such an energy system demands to be situated away from the people, in areas zoned away from the rest of society (even whole cities built around such power plants). In this environment, scientists and technocratic elites will naturally play an important role. With all the dangers that come with nuclear power plants there will be need of high level security measures, control, and supervision. All these requirements make nuclear energy incompatible with direct democratic ecological visions. Instead, it is much more suitable for totalitarian ones like eco-fascism.

Furthermore, nuclear energy is incompatible with the new climate-impacted planetary conditions, which are highly prone to fires, extreme storms and sea-level rise. With the increase of the probability of environmental catastrophes and extremities, it is questionable to say the least, weather nuclear power can function safely. Professor Heidi Hutner has pointed out that wild weather, fires, rising sea levels, earthquakes, and warming water temperatures all increase the risk of nuclear accidents18. And on top of that, the lack of safe, long-term storage for radioactive waste remains a persistent danger.

An energy source, compatible with the paradigm of democratic and ecological cities is the one derived from renewables. But simply shifting from fossil fuels to renewable sources will not suffice. We must, first of all, avoid approaching renewables from a modernist perspective. This would mean that we cannot use them mainly in a centralized manned (like industrial-style enormous solar or wind farms), since this would require a bureaucratic managerial apparatus, not much different from the one required by nuclear power. Although it will never be possible to avoid larger scales, one democratic and ecological paradigm would require us to develop renewables towards the greatest possible decentralization, so as to allow local communities to have direct control over their energy supply.

Then there is another issue that must be seriously considered. As author Stan Cox notes:

There’s nothing wrong with the ‘100-percent renewable’ part… it’s with the ‘100 percent of demand’ assumption that [scientists] go dangerously off the rails. At least in affluent countries, the challenge is not only to shift the source of our energy but to transform society so that it operates on far less end-use energy while assuring sufficiency for all. That would bring a 100-percent-renewable energy system within closer reach and avoid the outrageous technological feats and gambles required by high-energy dogma. It would also have the advantage of being possible.19

Thus from ecological and democratic perspective, we cannot simply switch to this or that technology. We have to bear in mind the contextuality of every technological innovation and the scale on which it is being implemented. Energy is much more than simply a tool: it has to do with relationships between people, societies and ultimately between humanity and nature. Furthermore, it is not just a means for the satisfaction of our needs, but a need in itself, and in a democratic paradigm, it will have to be deliberated on grassroots level by all members of society.

Democratic & Ecological Urban Design

Hence the citizens of a city are of no less concern to me than the city itself, for the city at its best eventually became an ethical union of people, an ethical as well as social eco-community, not simply a dense collection of structures designed for no other purpose than to provide goods and services for its anonymous residents.20

-Murray Bookchin

The creation of democratic and ecological cities is a complex thing. For society’s organization to be reorganized on the basis of direct democracy and environmental sustainability, among the many preconditions that seems to be required, is the breaking of alienation and establishment of communalist relationships within the urban realm. A city that would encourage and strengthen community feeling would represent a mixture of housing, public, workplace, shopping, green and other spaces, all of which will be within walking distance or reachable by public transportation, in contrast with the modern mainstream way of urban design, based on positioning of fixed zones across vast distances.

A mixed architecture consisting of medium-sized housing cooperatives, with adjoined gardens, within a walking distance from schools, public squares, markets and green spaces will allow for the experience of random interactions between neighbors. The walking element could build feeling of belonging to the city, with citizens developing strong links with their local, social and urban environment. It will also, as author Jay Walljasper suggests21, contribute for greater economic equality by allowing everyone the right to freely move across the city, without the need of car.

The shift towards walkable cities would imply the radical rethinking and remaking of roads and streets, today designed mainly as high-speed arteries connecting housing districts with office areas, encouraging driving over walking. As Donald Appleyard’s famous 1972 study demonstrates22, the heavier the car traffic on one street is, as less are the walkers and the everyday communal experiences. This, besides the obvious effects on human health (leading to obesity, heart disease, etc.), contributes to the already high levels of alienation in urban areas.

An approach that could alter this alienating effect, instead encouraging people to walk on the streets and potentially to produce community feeling, is the narrowing of streets in urban areas, expansion of pedestrian spaces, introduction of wider bicycle alleys, etc. As the city planner and author Jeff Speck explains23 people drive faster when they have less fear of veering off track, so wider lanes invite higher speeds. This, in mixture with vast network of free urban public transportation, will allow for daily social interactions on them by pedestrians and passangers. The daily social experiences like nodding, smiles, and random chatting with co-citizens potentially could contribute to us feeling more comfortable on our streets.

This would bring with itself other positive features, like drastic reduction of the health problems mentioned earlier, but also with reduction of driving speeds, responsible for the death of huge number of people around the world, as well as reduction of air pollution of the contemporary private car dominated metropolises.

Green spaces are another key aspect of the urban environment. According to Bob Lalasz24, they tend to make people happier. Furthermore, green spaces bring people closer together. Thus in one democratic and ecological urban project nature should be essential part of the urban landscape. The gardens, part of housing cooperatives will allow for the experience of gardening time by neighbors, building bonds between them. It will also potentially encourage the development of communal/solidarity economy, by producing their own food and exchanging it or sharing it with other urban gardeners.

But apart from them, parks and public gardens should be shuffled across the mixed urban architecture. There is a certain trend in the modern metropolitan cities for large scale parks to be zoned away from housing districts and office areas, making human interaction with nature a rare opportunity. Contrary to this logic, the mixed city, described here, could propose green spaces located in various locations across the city. As Charles Montgomery suggests25, this does not exclude the existence of large scale parks, but that the urban green space will not be limited to them. This will imply that people will have the possibility to get in contact with tiny gardens and parks on their way, let’s say, to work etc, as well as experiencing the feeling of being “into the wild” by entering the huge local parks.

Public squares play a key role in one city that encourages democratic and ecological culture, since they act as spaces for social interactions as well as forums for expression of civic opinions. Thus they should be made freely available for popular interventions, unlike today, where bureaucrats decide who, when, and for what reason an event should be organized in them.

But we also hear critiques about over-crowdedness of modern cities, leading to further alienation and withdrawal into passivity. If this is true, should we abandon city life altogether and return to village life? According to psychologist Andrew Baum’s study26, the feeling of over-crowdedness is being fed by design that does not allow people to control the intensity of spontaneous social interactions. Baum compared the behavior of residents of two very different college dormitories. He concluded that students whose environment allowed them to control their social interactions experienced less stress and built more friendships than students who lived along long and crowded corridors.

Therefore, an answer to the “over-crowdedness” problem could be found in the creation of semi-public/communal spaces, which represent a middle passage between the private and the public. This would imply the abandonment of the gigantic housing projects in which large numbers of people live together (like the socialist-era gigantic worker “barracks”), never feeling quite alone. Instead, a space could be given to medium-size housing cooperatives, with common spaces, at the disposal of all the neighbors. Thus, three layers of social spheres will be created – private, communal and public – allowing citizens to regulate their social interactions, thus giving them sense of comfort and encouraging egalitarianism.

Democratic Public Spaces

You will agree with me if I say that a socialism of traffic jams is an absurd contradiction in terms and that the socialist solution to this problem would not be to eliminate traffic jams by quadrupling the width of the ChampsElysees.27

-Cornelius Castoriadis

Of course, many things can be done with urban design to encourage communal feeling across citizens, but it cannot do this job alone without providing space for institutions of public deliberation, to enable the co-inhabitants collectively to determine the destiny of their cities as well as of themselves. It is difficult to imagine what else could bring people more close as community than the feeling of shared responsibility for their city.

Thus, a democratic and ecological city should always strive at managing itself through direct democracy. This will require the establishment of public spaces, suitable for the accommodation of direct-democratic institutions, like the popular assemblies described above. Such spaces, like public squares, halls, or amphitheaters, should most likely be equipped with sound systems, allowing for single speaker to be heard among gatherings of several thousand citizens, as well as live streamed for the rest of the community to be able to observe from distance.

Murray Bookchin points28 to the cities of the past, before the emergence of so-called statecraft. In them the citizens were actively involved in shaping their cities, deeply and morally committed to them. But with the emergence of parliamentarism and capitalism, they were replaced by passive consumers, simply passing through their urban environment, without any commitment to it.

Such steps towards reframing the city’s role as encourager of community and citizenry are, in a sense, rediscovering the ancient Athenian logic of the polis. Of course, the scales of their times and of our own are incomparable, but the logic on which their city was build could be used as a “germ”, as suggested by Cornelius Castoriadis29, by us today. Ancient Athens was encouraging community feeling as well as active citizenry, which gave birth to one of the most influential periods of human creativity to this day. At the heart of Athenian urban life were situated the agora and the general assembly. The agora was a market place, positioned in an accessible and central part of the city where the Athenians spent great deal of their time exchanging goods, information and opinions, or in other words – socializing – while in the assembly they were bonding with each other as well as with their city by sharing responsibility for its destiny.

Towards A Strategy From Below

The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.30

-David Harvey

The paradigm of democratic and ecological cities is not just a utopian vision for a future never to come. There are countless grassroots initiatives and struggles that strive towards that goal from today. During the last years we are even witnessing a rising interest among social movements in the urban question. More and more people are starting to notice the effects our cities have on us. Different movements, focused on the urban question, are emerging, some focused on municipal elections, others on urban planning. But it seems that most of them do not view this matter in holistic political manner.

On the one hand, the introduction of changes, no matter how great, in the way local elections are being held, won’t give cities back to their citizens. This can be done only by introducing new deliberative institutions, such as those described earlier in this text, which will allow each and every citizen to directly participate in the determination of their city’s destiny. The role of existing local authorities should be reduced to supervision and enforcement of the decisions, already taken by these new institutions, and thus subjected to them through means such as revocability, sortition, rotation etc.

On the other hand, often social movements dealing with city issues tend to limit their activities to narrow urban design, waiting for local authorities to implement their proposals. Their work remains half-way done, since a city consists not only of buildings, roads, and squares but also of people, and thus social relations and forms of organization. As Henri Lefebvre suggests31: The right to the city cannot be conceived of as a simple visiting right or as a return to traditional cities. It can only be formulated as a transformed and renewed right to urban life.

Thus the approach should be focused on linking urban design with politics and decision-making in particular. As we saw above, radical change in the one is difficult to imagine without such radical change occurring in the other. But what seems a very good start is the fact that more people are paying attention to the role our urban environment is playing on us, our social relationships, and our political projects in general.

Conclusion

The city is one of the main fronts on which this battle between equitable happiness and brutal misery will continue to rage. For the sake of all those who wish to enjoy lives worth living, it’s a battle we had better win.32

-Samuel Miller McDonald

The creation of democratic and ecological cities is a question of radical social transformation. The city has played an important role in human life from antiquity until the present. We cannot think of our future without thinking of the future of our urban inhabitants. Oversimplified proposals for the abandoning of city life and retreat to small villages and rural life have either lost touch with reality, or are being influenced by primitivism and its anti-political orientation.

If we are to create a democratic and ecological society, we will have to rethink and remake our cities along democratic and ecological lines. We must depart from the elements which have negatively shaped the modern city: modernist thinking (large scales and centralization), unsustainable and short-term profiteering (fossil fuels and monocultures), and exploitation (vertical management and capitalism). New principles must be adopted, such as environmental sustainability (citizens acting as conscious stewards) and democratic participation (all citizens shaping directly and collectively their common city life).

Ultimately, the question of democratic and ecological cities is a deeply political one, as it requires the collective deliberation of the future we want. This includes not only deciding how we would like our common world to look, but also what characteristics we wouldn’t like to see in it. And this ultimately is a question of self-limitation – something impossible within the framework of capitalism and statecraft. As Aaron Vansintjan concludes 33,talking about limits isn’t constraining, it’s liberating—perhaps paradoxically, it’s the basic requirement for building an ecological future of real abundance.

  • 1 Barber, B. (2013). Democracy And Climate Change: How Cities Can do What States Can’t [Online]. Humans And Nature. Available at: https://www.humansandnature.org/democracy-benjamin-barber (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 2 Curtis, D. A. (eds.) (1997) The Castoriadis Reader. Oxford: Blackwell. p285
  • 3 Bookchin, M. (1999). Thoughts on Libertarian Municipalism [Online]. Institute for Social Ecology. Available at: https://social-ecology.org/wp/1999/08/thoughts-on-libertarian-municipalism/ (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 4 Rousseau, J. J. (1998) The Social Contract. Ware: Wordsworth Editions. p20
  • 5 Bookchin, M. (1999). Thoughts on Libertarian Municipalism [Online]. Institute for Social Ecology. Available at: https://social-ecology.org/wp/1999/08/thoughts-on-libertarian-municipalism/ (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 6 Biehl, J. (2015). Municipalization of the Economy [Online]. New Compass. Available at: http://new-compass.net/articles/municipalization-economy (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 7 Ibid.
  • 8 Ibid.
  • 9 Bookchin, M. (1986). Municipalization: Community Ownership of the Economy [Online]. Anarchy Archives. Available at: http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bookchin/gp/perspectives2.html (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 10 Flood, A. (1995). Anarchism and the Environmental Movement [Online]. The Struggle Site. Available at: http://struggle.ws/talks/envir_anarchism.html (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 11 Fuller-Love, H. (2017). Guerrilla Gardeners Fight Hopelessness in Greece [Online]. DW. Available at: https://www.dw.com/en/environment-urban-agriculture-community-gardens-greece-urban-heat-island-effect-sustainability/a-39277047 (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 12 Hughes, J. D. (1975) ‘Ecology in Ancient Greece’, Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (18/2). pp115 – 125
  • 13 Debo, A. (1984) A History of the Indians of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • 14 Bookchin, M. (2014). Radical Agriculture [Online]. Libcom. Available at: https://libcom.org/library/radical-agriculture-murray-bookchin (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 15  Jacobs, J. (1992) The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage Books. p447
  • 16 Bookchin, M. (1990) ‘The Meaning of Confederalism’, Green Perspectives (20).
  • 17 Vansintjan, A. (2018). Where’s the “Eco” in Ecomodernism? [Online]. Red Pepper. Available at: https://www.redpepper.org.uk/wheres-the-eco-in-ecomodernism/ (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 18 Hutner, H. (2019). Nuclear Power is not the Answer in a Time of Climate Change [Online]. Aeon Magazine. Available at: https://aeon.co/ideas/nuclear-power-is-not-the-answer-in-a-time-of-climate-change (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 19 Vansintjan, A. (2018). Where’s the “Eco” in Ecomodernism? [Online]. Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres . Available at: https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article44271 (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 20 Bookchin, M. (1992) Urbanization without Cities: The Rise and Decline of Citizenship. Montreal: Black Rose Books. p.X
  • 21 Walljasper, A. (2015). A Good Place for Everyone to Walk [Online]. Common Dreams. Available at: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/10/23/good-place-everyone-walk (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 22 Appleyard, D. and Lintell, M. (1972) ‘The Environmental Quality of Streets: the Resident’s View Point’, Journal of the American Planning Association. pp84-101
  • 23 Speck, J. (2014). Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must be Replaced Now [Online]. Bloomberg CityLab. Available at: http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/10/why-12-foot-traffic-lanes-are-disastrous-for-safety-and-must-be-replaced-now/381117/ (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 24 Lalasz, B. (2015). Go to Your Happy Place: Understanding Why Nature Makes Us Feel Better [Online]. Cool Green Science. Available at: http://blog.nature.org/science/2015/05/22/science-nature-emotion-affect-feel-better/ (Accessed: 04 October 2020).
  • 25 Montgomery, C. (2015) Happy City: Transforming our Lives Through Urban Design. London: Penguin Books. p110
  • 26 Valins, S. and Baum, A. (1973) ‘Residential Group Size, Social Interaction, and Crowding’, Environment and Behavior.
  • 27 Curtis, D. A. (eds.) (1997) The Castoriadis Reader. Oxford: Blackwell. p250
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