Ain’t about Politics? The Wicked Power‐Geometry of Sydney’s Greening Governance


The globalization of Sydney and its rise to world city status tell us a profoundly political story that presents critical challenges both in terms of local development and long‐term sustainability. Green is at the centre of this imagineering, which situates environmental sustainability at the core of Sydney’s competitive and innovative edge. Yet the Harbour City, while rising to worldwide fame, has also been progressively troubled by wicked challenges that question its increasingly entrepreneurial and largely unproblematized approach to urban governance. At present, the metropolis has tackled these challenges by means of ad hoc solutions and policy‐making processes that, on deeper analysis, reveal little coordination beyond an impetus for growth as the driver of collective action at the urban scale. Due to the lack of a clear metropolis‐wide authority and the multiscalar nature of urban governance, the city has turned too much towards tackling sustainability within its urban dimension as a source of global competitiveness, while social polarization questions are steadily advancing to the forefront. It is time, I argue, for a Greater Sydney Authority.