Urban social reconstruction after oil (Adrian Atkinson)

In 2012, Adrian Atkinson published an article entitled "Urban social reconstruction after oil" in which he started with an exposé of what is being done currently to alleviate urban problems under present circumstances, focusing predominantly on the South. He then went on to expand a little on the nature of the challenges ahead before exploring ‘solutions’ that are appropriate to the real future that can be expected, post oil. The analysis here followed on from earlier expositions and speculations that he conducted from 2006 to 2008, published in a series of papers under the general title of Cities after oil (Atkinson 2007b, 2007c, 2008). This article took some of the key arguments of his previous analysis a step further.

Below is the abstract of the article which was published in International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 4:1, 94-110:

Over the past decades there has been a struggle to create decent living conditions for poor urban majorities in conditions of rampant urbanisation and in the face of neo-liberal development rules. ‘Peak oil’ is, however, upon us, which we may expect will fundamentally change the context of urban development. Whilst conceding that there are a range of scenarios as to how policymakers will address the problem of declining energy resources and hence what the net results will be, the view taken in this article based on substantial research over recent years is that ‘economic growth’ and development that has been built upon the growing consumption of fossil fuels will go radically into decline. The article looks at different dimensions of what this might mean for cities everywhere, with a focus particularly on cities in the South. It concludes with proposed measures that need to be taken, starting today and growing out of emerging initiatives – such as the ‘transition towns’ movement, to start the process of rebuilding viable urban life post fossil fuel.

This article, and the Cities after oil series, are made available in full by Adrian at his publications list webpage.

The views expressed in 'Recent News & Reflections' are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of any of the governments, organisations or agencies with whom they have been working.