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This chapter considers the implications of Pendras and Williams’s emphasis on ‘intra-regional relationality’ for work in city-regionalism (Moisio and Jonas, 2018), particularly where this work involves planning, growth and urban development practices around global climate action and the new politics of ‘carbon control’ (While et al, 2010; Granqvist et al, 2020). Selective empirical examples derived from my own past and forthcoming work (and the work of others) within the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Europe are briefly referenced throughout the chapter to emphasize how ‘intra-regional relationality’ sheds a different theoretical light on the politics, policies and practices of green urban and metropolitan action. ‘Greater’ Vancouver and ‘Greater’ Seattle, including Surrey and Tacoma, respectively, receive special consideration at the end of the chapter. Ultimately, the discussion explores how the central concept of ‘intra-regional relationality’ helps urban and regional scholars to place the alternately complementary and contradictory roles of regional secondary cities in multi-scalar urban development regimes now struggling to balance economic competitiveness with ecological resiliency and social cohesion, that is, urban sustainability. As more such cities – for example, Tacoma, Geelong, Long Beach, Malmo, Porto, Stellenbosch – adopt and implement green policies and also pursue global carbon control politics, the discussion considers how the concept of intra-regional relationality shifts our interpretation of these developments in urban studies and global affairs.

The analytical focus on urban green policy adoption and global carbon geopolitics – or what I have elsewhere called ‘variegated urbanizations of green internationalism’ (Dierwechter, 2019: 50) – may seem arbitrary; but this empirical focus represents a useful way to explore the theoretical relevance of intra-regional relationality in studies of the ‘greening’ of city-regions, whether mapped through the piecemeal adoption of ‘local’ sustainability policies or, more recently, through transnational carbon mitigation efforts.

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