Planning for Planetary Commons



Planetary commons, climate change , regenerative futures




This paper highlights the need for finding radical new ways of planning that extend beyond nation state-based international policy making. As a territorial governance agenda in a climate crisis, a radical shift is needed around the ways in which we collectively care for and govern planetary commons (Rockstrom et al 2024, Zaidi et al 2024). Latour (2018) has argued that ‘belonging to territory’ is critical to the politics of the new climactic regime which requires a democratic politics that leads humanity back ‘towards the Earth’ and not just back towards ‘the global or national’. The paper draws on two case-studies focused on new ways to inhabit the Earth within the context of regenerative futures (Warden 2021, Watson et al 2023). The paper concludes by calling for a new research agenda focused on ‘planning for planetary commons’ as increasingly vital to the survival in a climate crisis.

Author Biography

  • Wendy Steele, RMIT Europe

    Wendy Steele is Professor of Sustainability and Urban Governance and Research Director at RMIT Europe in Barcelona. Her research focuses on cities in climate change with an emphasis on building equitable and regenerative urban futures. She is the author of scholarly books include Planning Wild Cities: Human–Nature Relationships in the Urban Age (2020), Quiet Activism: Climate Action at the Local Scale (2021), The Sustainable Development Goals and Higher Education: A Transformative Agenda? (2021), Hot Cities: A Transdisciplinary Agenda (2023) and Australian Urban Policy: Prospects and Pathways (2023). Wendy is President of the Australasian Cities Research Network (ACRN) and Co-Chair of Future Earth Australia (FEA).


Latour, B (2021) Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime, Polity Press

Rockstrom et al (2024) The planetary commons: A new paradigm for safeguarding Earth- regulating systems in the Anthropocene, PNAS Perspective, Volume 1, 5, p.1-10

Warden, J (2019) Regenerative futures: From sustaining to thriving together, Royal Society of Arts, London.

Watson et al (2023) Wild Hope: Conversations for a Planetary Commons, Now or Never Festival proceedings, City Of Melbourne, Australia

Zaidi, Z et al (2024) A new framework for planetary futures: Governing our entangled tomorrows in an age of long emergencies, Position paper for the Planetary Civics Initiative, Dark Matter Labs and RMIT University.