Why "Keystone" ?

The name for the seminar refers to the new role played by municipal governments that are  pursuing ambitious sustainability policies.

A keystone is the angled piece of masonry that you find at the apex of a stone archway.  It holds all the other pieces of the arch together so that collectively they can bear the weight of the structure above them.

In some ways, that is a decent metaphor for the current role of municipal governments: Not bearing the full weight of urban sustainability policies, but establishing a network of multiple actors (the arch) that makes it possible for a much bigger project to be built than any one actor could accomplish on their own.

I said "a decent metaphor", but not a perfect one.
During the seminar we'll try to come up with something better.

Essentially, we are talking about a transformation from systems of urban climate government  to networks of urban climate governance. I'll be getting into what that means during the seminar itself. But there are certain key aspects of networked governance that aren't captured very well by metaphors derived from medieval cathedral building techniques.


[Incidentally, this isn't the first time that the image of the keystone has been used to symbolize a state/city/or government body.  But any reference to the State of Pennsylvania, or the fictional hometown of The Flash is purely coincidental.]


No comments:

Post a Comment