Outside The City of Grace: appraising dystopia and global sustainability

| October 1, 2021 | Leave a Comment

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Date of Publication: June 7

Year of Publication: 2021

Publication City: London, UK

Author(s): David Wadley

Journal: The Journal of Population and Sustainability

Volume: Vol. 5, No. 2

Pages: pp.75-96


The City of Grace: An Urban Manifesto (Wadley, 2020) models an eco-tech settlement, aiming to achieve economic and social sustainability over a substantial period. The City is intended to be anti-dystopian and non-exclusive, with the possibility of replication in receptive settings.

In this rejoinder to the book, the potential for dystopia attending population and sustainability issues in the outside world is appraised. Foundations are established in general systems, complexity and chaos theories, and an interpretation of procedural and substantive rationality.

Two possible global failure modes are examined, one contained within the human sphere involving the future of capital and labour, and an external one founded in the familiar problematics of the human-environment nexus. Dilatory responses in advanced societies to these dilemmas are outlined. The subsequent prognosis regarding population and sustainability co-opts a meta-theory from environmental management to assess the viability of possible counterstrategies to dystopia although, in conclusion, its existence is instantiated.

Keywords: dystopia; systems theory; labour dynamics; economic and demographic growth; planetary constraints; IPAT.

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