In his recent TED talk, Benjamin Barber boldly proposed that a parliament of cities should replace the growing inept and irrelevant nation and state rules.
We are an urban species, at home in our cities. So to come back to the dilemma, if the dilemma is we have old-fashionedpolitical nation-states unable to govern the world, respond to the global challenges that we facelike climate change,then maybe it’s time for mayors to rule the world, for mayors and the citizens and the peoples they representto engage in global governance. When I say if mayors ruled the world,when I first came up with that phrase,it occurred to me that actually, they already do. There are scores of international, inter-city,cross-border institutions, networks of cities in which cities are already, quite quietly, below the horizon, working togetherto deal with climate change, to deal with security, to deal with immigration, to deal with all of those tough, interdependent problems that we face.
As they continue to grow in scope and complexity, cities will need local engagement-based governance rather than impersonal remote rule by legislators without passion and perspective on local dynamics and issues.