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Bringing it all together


Ethical cities and sustainability at the local level: let’s bring it all together.

The big question we set out to answer at the beginning of this course was: ‘How can cities become fairer, more sustainable and inclusive, and better governed?’

We hope the frameworks and examples we’ve worked through in this course have challenged and extended your thinking and extended your personal approach to improving governance, boosting sustainability and developing a better quality of life for your city.

What we covered this week

This week, we looked at the concept of an ‘ethical city’ as a situated and principled approach.

We identified how a collective approach is needed to identify and address important issues for the city and explored what to measure in a way that is meaningful to the city.

We considered procedural justice as a way to engage people and enhance discussions about values and common causes of citizens, and finally, considered pathways for successful collaboration.

Final takeaways

Some of our key takeaways from the concepts and examples presented in this course are:

  • Adoption of the SDGs offers one step on a possible pathway towards sustainability, however this step needs to be enhanced through placed-based participatory approaches that centre on environmental and social justice.
  • There are a range of place-based approaches that present multiple collective values to learn from.
  • The ethical cities agenda advances a principles-based and collaborative approach to urban development for government actors, private sector, civil society, individuals and communities.
  • Making space for each other, literally and figuratively, is a central concept for the ethical city. This applies to identifying important issues for the city and what to measure in a way that is meaningful to the city.

Your task

Watch the video from Ralph to find out more about the key ideas and principles that we’ve covered in this course.

In the comment section below, share and discuss your own key takeaways.

What is the most important message you’ll take away from this course and apply in your professional context?

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Creating Ethical and Sustainable Cities at the Local Level

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