There is a serious gap between the problems faced by 21st century cities and their proposed solutions, which are often small-scale, siloed and unsustainable. Paradoxically, as cities face the pressures of poverty, unemployment, social and physical infrastructure degradation, and pollution, they are being lauded by other scales of government for their resilience and innovation in solving wicked problems. Critical urban theory and study highlights the failures and inadequacies of current neoliberal urban policy and austerity programs. The tension between problems, solutions, and expectations in status quo urban policy making begs the question: is there a progressive alternative for cities that promotes equity, democracy, sustainability, and justice? It is now time for scholars to move beyond critiques of neoliberalism to offer a better future for those who live and work in the city.
- the values and principles that define a progressive city;
- how to support progressive leadership, movements, and coalitions to become full-fledged political alternatives;
- progressive policy visions, agendas, and action plans; and
- the institutional arrangements required to anchor or nurture a progressive city.