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Journal Article

‘Glocal’ discussion as leverage. Debating urban sustainability in Bogotá


Rivera,  Manuel
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

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Rivera, M. (2017): ‘Glocal’ discussion as leverage. Debating urban sustainability in Bogotá. - Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 7, 1, 145-151.

Cite as: https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_780889
Based on a joint project of IASS and the Botanical Garden of Bogotá, the research note discusses the outlook for global sustainability norms, objectives or standards to become meaningful at city level. The action research project comprised four conference and dialogue events, ex-ante expert interviews, and questionnaires to the general public of the events, which were evaluated mainly qualitatively with quantitative elements. The paper presents a few very first results of the case study. References to the global level can fulfill a legitimating function for certain local actors and programs and can work as a dialogue enabler; their applicability depends on the specific cultural contexts for sustainability topics; political polarization regarding these topics is risky, but also promising for transformational ambitions. The thesis that ‘think locally, act locally’ might be the better recipe for integrating global considerations into local action is therefore refuted. In the case of Bogotá, a city politically at odds with the nation it heads, sustainability transformations will definitely benefit from transdisciplinary contributions which involve international expertise.