This article considers the rapid evolution and increased prominence of the C40 Cities Climate Change Leadership Group and its commitment to the development of a new style of thinking, and possibly a new urban construct. This new construct is not yet understood, perhaps due to the fact that it is an inchoate ideal being forged through the work of the network for the future of our cities. Such an assessment is well situated within the political economy of urban sustainability, with its ability to set up an interrogative frame to identify the progressive and regressive possibilities that the C40 signals. This article argues that the C40 cities propose nothing new in their ideas, providing a reinforcement of neoliberal urbanism. We need to deviate from technocratic and “econocratic” approaches toward pathways that emphasize the democratic content of socio-environmental development.

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