Town Planning Review

A place for climate in a time of capitalist crisis? A case study of low-carbon urban policy making in Liverpool, England

Town Planning Review (2020), 91, (2), 155–178.

Abstract

This paper draws upon regulationist perspectives to explore the rationales which inform low-carbon economic development at the city level. This work is developed through a case study of low-carbon policy making in Liverpool, UK. The paper identifies conflict between those who argue for deeper engagement with the emerging low-carbon policy domain, and others who remain committed to maintaining existing patterns of growth. The paper argues that regulationist-inspired perspectives particularly help understand places where the transition to a low-carbon economy can falter in the face of competing agendas such as reigniting growth and coping with austerity.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

References

ADGER, W. N., ARNELL, N. W. and TOMPKINS, E. L. (2005), ‘Succesful adaptation to climate change across scales’, Global Environmental Change, 15, 77–86. Google Scholar

AGLIETTA, M. (1979), A Theory of Capitalist Regulation, London, NLB. Google Scholar

ANDERSON, K. and BOWS, A. (2011), ‘Beyond “dangerous” climate change: emission scenarios for a new world’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 369, 20–44. Google Scholar

BÉAL, V. (2011), ‘Urban governance, sustainability and environmental movements: post-democracy in French and British cities’, European Urban and Regional Studies, 19, 404–19. Google Scholar

BEAZLEY, M., LOFTMAN, M. and NEVIN, B. (1997), ‘Downtown redevelopment and community resistance: an international perspective’, in N. M. Jewson and S. MacGregor (eds), Transforming Cities, London, Routledge, 181–92. Google Scholar

BIANCHINI, F. and PARKINSON, M. (1993), Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration, Manchester, Manchester University Press. Google Scholar

BICKNELL, J., DODMAN, D. and SATTERTHWAITE, D. (eds) (2009), Adapting Cities to Climate Change, London, Earthscan. Google Scholar

BIDDULPH, M. (2011), ‘Urban design, regeneration and the entrepreneurial city’, Progress in Planning, 76, 63–103. Google Scholar

BLANCO, I. (2015), ‘Between democratic network governance and neoliberalism: a regime theoretical analysis of collaboration in Barcelona’, Cities, 44, 123–30. Google Scholar

BOLAND, P. (2007), ‘Unpacking the theory–policy interface of local economic development: an analysis of Cardiff and Liverpool’, Urban Studies, 44, 1019–39. Google Scholar

BOLAND, P. (2010), ‘“Capital of Culture—you must be having a laugh!” Challenging the official rhetoric of Liverpool as the 2008 European cultural capital’, Social & Cultural Geography, 11, 627–45. Google Scholar

BOYLE, M. (1997), ‘Civic boosterism in the politics of local economic development’, Environment and Planning A, 29, 1975–97. Google Scholar

BOYLE, M. H. G. (1994), ‘The politics of urban entrepreneurialism in Glasgow’, Geoforum, 25, 453–70. Google Scholar

BRENNER, N. (2003), ‘“Glocalization” as a state spatial strategy’, in J. Peck and H. W. Yeung (eds), Remaking the Global Economy: Economic-Geographical Perspectives, London, Sage, 197–215. Google Scholar

BRENNER, N. (2004), New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

BRENNER, N., JESSOP, B., JONES, M. and MACLEOD, G. (2003), State/Space: A Reader, Oxford, Blackwell. Google Scholar

BRISTOW, G. (2010), ‘Resilient regions: re-“place”ing regional competitiveness’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 3, 153–67. Google Scholar

BROWN, J. C. and PURCELL, M. (2005), ‘There’s nothing inherent about scale’, Geoforum, 36, 607–24. Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H. (2013), Cities and Climate Change, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H. and BETSILL, M. M. (2013), ‘Revisiting the urban politics of climate change’, Environmental Politics, 22, 136–54. Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H., CASTAN BROTO, V., HODSON, M. and MARVIN, S. (eds) (2011), Cities and Low Carbon Transitions, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

CAMERON, D. (2010), PM’s speech to DECC, London, https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pms-speech-at-decc (accessed 17 February 2020). Google Scholar

CARMIN, J., ANGUELOVSKI, I. and ROBERTS, D. (2012), ‘Urban climate adaptation in the global South’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 32, 18–32. Google Scholar

CASTAN BROTO, V. and BULKELEY, H. (2012), ‘A survey of urban climate change experiments in 100 cities’, Global Environmental Change, 23, 92–102. Google Scholar

CITY OF LIVERPOOL (2009), Climate Change Strategic Framework, Liverpool. Google Scholar

COCHRANE, A. (2003), ‘The social construction of urban policy’, in G. Bridge and S. Watson (eds), A Companion to the City, Oxford, Blackwell, 531–42. Google Scholar

COLLINGE, C. (1999), ‘Self-organisation of society by scale: a spatial reworking of regulation theory’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 17, 557–74. Google Scholar

COX, K. (ed.) (1997), Spaces of Globalisation: Reasserting the Power of the Local, London, The Guildford Press. Google Scholar

COX, K. (1998), ‘Spaces of dependence, spaces of engagement and the politics of scale: looking for local politics’, Political Geography, 17, 1–23. Google Scholar

COX, K. R. (1993), ‘The local and the global in the new urban politics: a critical view’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, 433–48. Google Scholar

DANNESTRAM, T. (2008), ‘Rethinking local politics: towards a cultural political economy of entrepreneurial cities’, Space and Polity, 12, 353–72. Google Scholar

DAVIES, J. (2014), ‘Rethinking urban power and the local state’, Urban Studies, 51, 3215–32. Google Scholar

DCLG (DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2015), Liverpool City Region Devolution Agreement, London, DCLG. Google Scholar

DUNCAN, S. and GOODWIN, M. (1988), The Local State and Uneven Development, Cambridge, Polity. Google Scholar

FRIEDMAN, T. L. (2008), Hot, Flat and Crowded, London, Allen Lane. Google Scholar

FROST, D. and NORTH, P. (2013), Militant Liverpool: A City on the Edge, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press. Google Scholar

GARCIA, B., MELVILLE, R. and COX, T. (2010), Creating an Impact: Liverpool’s Year as Capital of Culture, Liverpool, Impacts08. Google Scholar

GONZALEZ, S. and OOSTERLYNCK, S. (2014), ‘Crisis and resilience in a finance-led city’, Urban Studies, 51, 3164–79. Google Scholar

GOODWIN, M. and PAINTER, J. (1996), ‘Local governance, the crises of Fordism and the changing geographies of regulation’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 21, 635–48. Google Scholar

GOODWIN, M. and PAINTER, J. (1997), ‘Concrete research, urban regimes and regulation theory’, in M. Lauria (ed.), Reconstructing Urban Regime Theory, London, Sage, 13–29. Google Scholar

HANSEN, J. (2009), Storms of My Grandchildren, London, Bloomsbury. Google Scholar

HARRISON, J. (2013), ‘Rethinking city-regionalism as the production of new non-state spatial strategies’, Urban Studies, 51, 2315–55. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1989), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban governance in late capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography, 71, 3–17. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1992), The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford, Blackwell. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (2001), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban governance in late capitalism’, in D. Harvey, Spaces of Capital, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 3–17. Google Scholar

HM GOVERNMENT (2008), Climate Change Act 2008, London, DEFRA. Google Scholar

HODSON, M. and MARVIN, S. (2013), Low Carbon Nation?, Abingdon, Routledge. Google Scholar

HUBBARD, P. and HALL, T. (1998), ‘The entrepreneurial city and the “New Urban Politics”’, in T. Hall and P. Hubbard (eds), The Entrepreneurial City, Chichester, Wiley, 1–26. Google Scholar

JENSON, J. (1990), ‘Representations in crisis: the roots of Canada’s permeable Fordism’, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 23, 653–84. Google Scholar

JENSON, J. (1993), ‘Naming nations: making nationalist claims in Canadian public discourse’, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 30, 337–58. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (1992), ‘Fordism and post-Fordism: a critical reformulation’, in M. Storper and A. Scott (eds), Pathways to Industrialization and Regional Development, London, Routledge, 46–69. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (1997), ‘The entrepreneurial city: re-imagining localities, redesigning economic governance or restructuring capital?’, in N. Jewson and S. MacGregor (eds), Transforming Cities, London, Routledge, 28–41. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (1998), ‘The narrative of enterprise and the enterprise of narrative: place making and the entrepreneurial city’, in Hubbard and Hall (eds), 77–99. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (2002), The Future of the Capitalist State, Oxford, Polity. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (2005), ‘Cultural political economy, the knowledge-based economy and the state’, in A. Barry and D. Slater (eds), The Technological Economy, London, Routledge, 142–64. Google Scholar

JONAS, A. E. G., GIBBS, D. and WHILE, A. (2011), ‘The new urban politics as a politics of carbon control’, Urban Studies, 48, 2537–54. Google Scholar

JONAS, A. E. G., WHILE, A. and GIBBS, D. C. (2004), ‘State modernisation and local strategic selectivity after Local Agenda 21’, Policy & Politics, 32, 151–68. Google Scholar

JONES, P. and WILKS-HEEG, S. (2004), ‘Capitalising culture: Liverpool 2008’, Local Economy, 19, 341–60. Google Scholar

KINGDON, J. W. (1984), Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies, Boston, Little Brown and Company. Google Scholar

KRUEGER, R. and GIBBS, D. (2007), The Sustainable Development Paradox: Urban Political Economy in the United States and Europe, New York, Guildford. Google Scholar

LIPIETZ, A. (1987), Mirages and Miracles: The Crises of Global Fordism, London, Verso. Google Scholar

LIPIETZ, A. (1992), Towards a New Economic Order: Postfordism, Ecology and Democracy, Cambridge, Polity. Google Scholar

LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL (2015), Commission on Environmental Sustainability: Final Report. Google Scholar

LIVERPOOL FIRST (2008), Liverpool’s Local Area Agreement, Liverpool, Liverpool First. Google Scholar

LOVERING, P. (1995), ‘Creating discourses rather than jobs: the crisis in the cities and the transition fantasies of intellectuals and policy makers’, in P. Healey, S. Cameron, S. Davoudi, S. Graham and A. Madani-Pour (eds), Managing Cities: The New Urban Context, Chichester, Wiley, 109–26. Google Scholar

LOWNDES, V. and GARDNER, A. (2016), ‘Local governance under the Conservatives: super-austerity, devolution and the “smarter state”’, Local Government Studies, 42, 357–75. Google Scholar

MCGUIRK, P., BULKELEY, H. and DOWLING, R. (2014), ‘Practices, programs and projects of urban carbon governance’, Geoforum, 52, 137–47. Google Scholar

MACLEOD, G. (2002), ‘From urban entrepreneurialism to a “revanchist city”’, Antipode, 34, 602–24. Google Scholar

MATTHEWS, T. (2012), ‘Responding to climate change as a transformative stressor through metro-regional planning’, Local Environment, 17, 1089–103. Google Scholar

MEEGAN, R. (2003), ‘Urban regeneration, politics and social cohesion: the Liverpool case’, in R. Munck (ed.), Reinventing the City: Liverpool in Comparative Perspective, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 53–79. Google Scholar

MEEGAN, R., KENNETT, P., JONES, G. and CROFT, J. (2014), ‘Global economic crisis, austerity and neoliberal urban governance in England’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 7, 137–53. Google Scholar

MERSEY PARTNERSHIP (2012), Economic Review 2012, Liverpool. Google Scholar

MISSBACH, A. (2000), ‘Regulation theory and climate change policy’, in P. Harris (ed.), Climate Change and American Foreign Policy, Basingstoke, Springer, 131–49. Google Scholar

MOONEY, G. (1999), ‘Urban “disorders”’, in C. Brook, G. Mooney and S. Pile (eds), Unruly Cities?, Gabriola Island, BC., New Society Publishers, 53–201. Google Scholar

MURPHY, L. (2016), ‘Liverpool set to bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games’, Liverpool Echo, 13 April. Google Scholar

NORTH, P. (2013), ‘Knowledge exchange, “impact” and engagement: exploring low-carbon urban transitions’, Geographical Journal, 179, 211–20. Google Scholar

NORTH, P. and BARKER, T. (2011), Building the Low Carbon Economy on Merseyside, Liverpool, Low Carbon Liverpool. Google Scholar

NURSE, A. (2015), ‘Creating the north from the sum of its parts? Research questions to assess the Northern Powerhouse’, Local Economy, 30, 689–701. Google Scholar

NURSE, A. and NORTH, P. (2013), An Environmental Audit of Liverpool, Liverpool, Low Carbon Liverpool. Google Scholar

NURSE, A. and SYKES, O. (2019), ‘It’s more complicated than that! Unpacking “left behind Britain” and some other spatial tropes following the UK’s 2016 EU referendum’, Local Economy, 34, 589–606. Google Scholar

OWENS, S. and COWELL, R. (2002), Land and Limits: Interpreting Sustainability in the Planning Process, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

PAINTER, J. and GOODWIN, M. (1995), ‘Local governance and concrete research: investigating the uneven development of regulation’, Economy and Society, 24, 334–56. Google Scholar

PARÉS, M., MARTÍ-COSTA, M. and BLANCO, I. (2014), ‘Geographies of governance: how place matters in urban regeneration policies’, Urban Studies, 51, 3250–67. Google Scholar

PARKINSON, M. (1985), Liverpool on the Brink, Hermitage, Policy Journals. Google Scholar

PARKINSON, M., EVANS, R., MEEGAN, R. and KARECHA, J. (2016), The State of Liverpool City Region, Liverpool, Heseltine Institute for Public Policy. Google Scholar

PARKINSON, M. and HARDING, A. (1995), ‘European cities toward 2000: entrepreneurialism, competition and social exclusion’, in M. Rhodes (ed.), Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 53–77. Google Scholar

PEARCE, G. and COOPER, S. (2011), ‘Sub-national responses to climate change in England: evidence from local area agreements’, Local Government Studies, 37, 199–217. Google Scholar

PECK, J. (1995), ‘Moving and shaking: business elites, state localism and urban privatism’, Progress in Human Geography, 19, 16–46. Google Scholar

PECK, J. (2012), ‘Austerity urbanism’, City, 16, 626–55. Google Scholar

PECK, J. (2014), ‘Entrepreneurial urbanism: between uncommon sense and dull compulsion’, Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography, 96, 396–401. Google Scholar

PECK, J., THEODORE, N. and BRENNER, N. (2009), ‘Neoliberal urbanism: models, moments, mutations’, SAIS Review of International Affairs, 29, 49–66. Google Scholar

PECK, J., THEODORE, N. and BRENNER, N (2013), ‘Neoliberal urbanism redux?’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37, 1091–99. Google Scholar

PECK, J. and TICKELL, A. (1992a), ‘Local modes of social regulation? Regulation theory, Thatcherism and uneven development’, Geoforum, 23, 347–63. Google Scholar

PECK, J. and TICKELL, A. (1992b), ‘The social regulation of uneven development: “regulatory deficit”, England’s South East, and the collapse of Thatcherism’, Environment and Planning A, 27, 15–40. Google Scholar

PECK, J. and TICKELL, A. (1994), ‘Jungle law breaks out: neo-liberalism and global–local disorder’, Area, 26, 317–26. Google Scholar

PECK, J. and TICKELL, A. (1995), ‘Business goes local: dissecting the “business agenda” in Manchester’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 19, 55–78. Google Scholar

PECK, J. and TICKELL, A. (2002), ‘Neoliberalizing space’, Antipode, 34, 380–404. Google Scholar

PETERSON, P. (1981), City Limits, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press. Google Scholar

RACO, M. (2008), ‘Key worker housing, welfare reform and the new spatial polity in England’, Regional Studies, 42, 737–51. Google Scholar

RICE, J. L. (2010), ‘Climate, carbon, and territory: greenhouse gas mitigation in Seattle, Washington’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 100, 929–37. Google Scholar

RUTHERFORD, J. (2013), ‘The vicissitudes of energy and climate policy in Stockholm’, Urban Studies, 51, 1449–70. Google Scholar

RUTLAND, T. and AYLETT, A. (2008), ‘The work of policy: actor networks, governmentality, and local action on climate change in Portland, Oregon’, Environment and Planning D, 26, 627–46. Google Scholar

SAYER, A. (1989), ‘Post-Fordism in question’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 13, 666–93. Google Scholar

SCHARPF, F. W. (1994), ‘Games real actors could play: positive and negative coordination in embedded negotiations’, Journal of Theoretical Politics, 6, 27–53. Google Scholar

SMITH, N. (2007), ‘Nature as an accumulation strategy’, Socialist Register, 43, 16–36. Google Scholar

STERN, N. (2006), Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, London, HM Treasury/The Cabinet Office. Google Scholar

STURZAKER, J. and NURSE, A. (2020), Rescaling Urban Governance: Planning, Localism and Institutional Change, Bristol, Policy Press. Google Scholar

SYKES, O., BROWN, J., COCKS, M., SHAW, D. and COUCH, C. (2013), ‘A city profile of Liverpool’, Cities, https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/mcs/lfs/docs/A%20city%20of%20Liverpool%20profile%20Cities.pdf (accessed 14 January 2020). Google Scholar

THORP, L. (2019), ‘The obstacle that could stand in the way of major Festival Gardens plans’, Liverpool Echo, 24 October. Google Scholar

TMP (2009), Economic Review 2009, Liverpool, The Mersey Partnership. Google Scholar

VANOLO, A. (2014), ‘Smartmentality: the smart city as disciplinary strategy’, Urban Studies, 51, 883–98. Google Scholar

WHILE, A. (2011), ‘The carbon calculus and transitions in urban politics and political theory’, in H. Bulkeley, V. Castan Broto, M. Hodson and S. Marvin (eds), Cities and Low Carbon Transitions, London, Routledge, 76–93. Google Scholar

WHILE, A. (2013), ‘The greenest government ever? The coalition government and low-carbon policy’, People, Place and Policy, 7(2), 100–6. Google Scholar

WHILE, A., JONAS, A. E. G. and GIBBS, D. (2004), ‘The environment and the sustainable city’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28, 549–69. Google Scholar

WHILE, A., JONAS, A. E. G. and GIBB, D. (2010), ‘From sustainable development to carbon control: eco-state restructuring and the politics of urban and regional development’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35, 76–93. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Nurse, Alexander

North, Peter