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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Planetary Stewardship in an Urbanizing World:

Seitzinger, Sybil P.; Svedin, Uno; Crumley, Carole; Steffen, Will; Adbullah, Saiful Arif; Alfsen, Christine; Broadgate, Wendy J.; Biermann, Frank; Bondre, Nanid R.; Dearing, John A.; Deutsch, Lisa; Shobhakar, Dhakal; Elmqvist, Thomas; Farahbakhshazad, Neda; Gaffney, Owen; Haberl, Helmut; Lavorel, Sandra; Mbow, Cheik; McMichael, Anthony J.; deMorais, Joao M.F.;
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Abstract Cities are rapidly increasing in importance asa major factor shaping the Earth system, and therefore,must take corresponding responsibility. With currentlyover half the world’s population, cities are supported byresources originating from primarily rural regions oftenlocated around the world far distant from the urban loci ofuse. The sustainability of a city can no longer be consideredin isolation from the sustainability of human andnatural resources it uses from proximal or distant regions,or the combined resource use and impacts of citiesglobally. The world’s multiple and complex environmentaland social challenges require interconnectedsolutions and coordinated governance approaches toplanetary stewardship. We suggest that a key componentof planetary stewardship is a global system of cities thatdevelop sustainable processes and policies in concert withits non-urban areas. The potential for cities to cooperateas a system and with rural connectivity could increasetheir capacity to effect change and foster stewardship atthe planetary scale and also increase their resourcesecurity.


Urban ; Rural; Resources; Sustainability; Planetary stewardship; Global governance; Sustainability

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2012, volume: 41, number: 8, pages: 787-794

Authors' information

Seitzinger, Sybil P.
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Svedin, Uno
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Biodiversity Centre
Steffen, Will
Adbullah, Saiful Arif
National University of Malaysia
Alfsen, Christine
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Broadgate, Wendy J.
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Biermann, Frank
VU University Amsterdam
Bondre, Nanid R.
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Dearing, John A.
University of Southampton
Deutsch, Lisa
Stockholm Resilience Centre
Shobhakar, Dhakal
Asian Institute of Technology
Elmqvist, Thomas
Farahbakhshazad, Neda
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Gaffney, Owen
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Haberl, Helmut
Alpen-Adria University, Klagenfurt
Lavorel, Sandra
Mbow, Cheik
Cheikh Anta Diop University
McMichael, Anthony J.
Australian National University
deMorais, Joao M.F.
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

UKÄ Subject classification

Energy Systems
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Environmental Management

Publication Identifiers


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