What knowledge and analytical framework should inform the actions of policy makers, urban managers, and city dwellers in the Anthropocene, the era in which humans have transformed the earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and climate? According to Paulo Ferrão and John E. Fernández, one strategy for reformatting urban analysis and governance in the Anthropocene is to analyze urban processes using equations like those reproduced above, which describe greenhouse gas emissions for a process (87), the material composition of a product (172), and the material intensity of an economic activity (177). Understanding how cities function and how they can function sustainably, the authors explain, requires analytical tools and categories bearing a delirious array of acronyms: economic input-output...

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