Roberto Luís Monte-Mór
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Ester Limonad
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Towards the urban-natural
Notes on urban utopias from the decolonial turn
in Turning up the heat
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Our reflection axis is an urban-natural virtuality, seen as a necessary step towards envisioning an urban utopia. For Lefebvre, the urban era succeeds the industrial era. The focus on collective reproduction, as opposed to production and/or accumulation, reunited the formerly opposed urban and natural/environmental perspectives, redefined by planetary threats. At the same time, extended urbanisation keeps on guaranteeing urban-industrial modernisation. Lefebvre’s urban society proposal demands the inclusion of nature and natural space that, although implicit in his proposal, has become crucial confronting current threats and illuminating our very understanding of contemporary everyday life. An extended naturalisation corresponds to an extended urbanisation. Movements towards any possible future envisioning call for both spatial and social justice and a continuing critical theory effort to offer some possible answers. The reunification of the urban and the environment implies the reunification of human and nature. The urban-natural, taken as an idea that reunites contemporary concerns and spatial practices within everyday life, already has countless manifestations in most parts of the world that may metaphorically represent the transformation from the industrial era into the urban era. Among Brazil's traditional peoples, that is a reality; in metropolitan areas, many such cases are found, as are many emerging popular and social economies, most of which are also ecological, pointing to other futures. The dialectical interaction between extended urbanisation and extended naturalisation entails rescuing the urban-natural variety of (and virtual) manifestations. An insufficient but necessary step towards urban utopia.

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Turning up the heat

Urban political ecology for a climate emergency


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