All things must pass and the dominant urban economic model of the last few years is starting to creak, and a new progressive agenda is threatening to replace it. At its core is a rejection of liberal economics, a questioning of urban economic policy, and a desire to reorganise our city economies: social justice and environmental sustainability are not just hopes but central objectives.
Global investment, agglomeration, property and financialisation, is not socially delivering. In this, the new movement is working to distribute the economy and broaden power over it. This is not theoretical: the agenda is practical, live, and growing. As the political theorist Hannah Arendt said: 'politics is based on the fact of human plurality'. And we are seeing a new plurality of action exemplified by municipalist movements (i.e Barcelona) and new global networks such as 'Fearless Cities'. It is about community wealth building in UK and Europe by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and the Democracy Collaborative in the US. It extends to social innovation, as exemplified in good city economies. It is about unleashing activity around foundational economy, municipal energy, local finance, cooperatives, community banking and fab labs.