Will cities soon break away from their nation-states and forge different paths? That’s the question on my mind this week following the release of me and Sarah Ronald’s longform story about Edinburgh’s future prospects as a rogue city.
A rogue city is a place that starts to operate independently of the country that governs it. Municipal authorities team up with investors, property developers and entrepreneurs to launch hyperlocal strategies fuelled by international collaboration and knowledge-sharing with other cities.
So far this century, we’ve already seen mass democracy protests on the streets of Hong Kong and Barcelona. Meanwhile, rebellious upcoming cities like George Town in Malaysia and Dubai in the UAE are reclaiming land from the sea to generate new, independent income streams.
As their populations swell, cities gain greater momentum, power and influence. The UN predicts that 68% of the world will live in urban areas by 2050. In this new age of urbanism, will rogue cities like Edinburgh lead the way?