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A future research agenda for transformational urban policy studies

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  • 1 Concordia University, Canada
  • | 2 Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada
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There is a gap between the policy problems faced by twenty-first century cities and their proposed solutions, which are often small-scale, siloed and unsustainable. Cities face growing poverty, a rise in precarious work, unaffordable housing, decaying infrastructure, climate change, social polarisation and, most recently, a deadly infectious disease. The urban crisis is rooted in the failures of neoliberal policy characteristic of advanced capitalism, intersected with other systems of oppression. Turning the clock back to liberal urban policymaking will be insufficient. We propose a policy agenda that studies transformative urban movements, including local activism and movement building, policy agenda-setting and design, and policy implementation and evaluation. While these are the expertise of scholars of urban politics and policy studies, transformative urban movements have not been on their radar. In this article, we explore why and examine how urban politics and policy studies can ground and support transformative change.

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  • 1 Concordia University, Canada
  • | 2 Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada

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