The ethical city, in contrast to many other adjectives used to describe our cities, implies an approach to urban development that is about doing the right thing for and by urban citizens. Acknowledging the rich traditions of urban development studies and human ethics, this article draws on examples of existing practices in cities that reflect a principled and ethical approach to leadership, governance, planning, economic development, sustainability and citizen engagement. An increased focus on ethics and justice is central in shaping how we respond effectively to global pressing issues such as climate change while at the same time tackling diverse social and economic problems in our cities including inequality, marginalization and lack of access to opportunities for the most vulnerable. While an ethical city points towards sustainability, resilience, inclusion and shared prosperity, the opposite direction could lead to corruption, poverty and social disaffection.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited