top of page

How to Save the City

A guide for emergency action

How to Save the City is a guide for action on the converging and accelerating emergencies of our age. While the climate emergency is the most urgent, we also face deep and long standing social inequalities in health, housing, work, gender and race, the breakdown of our natural world, and the deep ripples resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Book cover of How to Save the City. It has a clean crisp look with the title and author in a sans serif font on a white background, there are pops of bright green in a simple illustration which is a black outline of a few stylized high rise buildings and trees
Our emergency action needs to be urgent and decisive yet also empowering and inclusive.

These emergencies are playing out in dramatic ways in urban areas. Locked in to high-energy, high-resource use, cities are responsible for about three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ecological and carbon footprints far bigger than their city limits, and are the beating heart of our pro-growth, unequal, consumer-saturated way of life.

Without decisive action, we are facing the possibility of an Earth that is uninhabitable for humans. This book is a guide for what we can all do to mount emergency responses, in order to, literally, save the city.

How to Save the City is a wake-up call and action plan; provocative and disruptive, yet playful and game-inspired. The book begins by looking at the challenge ahead in our decade of transformation. It then engages, inspires and empowers all those engaged in city life to get into emergency mode - offering a strategic plan, guidance and practical tactics to save their city. The book outlines a number of players who can use this strategic approach to make big moves.

Illustration in a hand drawn style with pencil of three stick figure characters around a table which has a doughnut economics diagram on it. The characters are having a conversation, each has a speech bubble above their heads. The first character has long straight hair and glasses. The second is in a wheelchair and has curly hair. The third has dark skin and short hair. Their speech bubbles say; So we have to start by identifying the challenges. We’re dealing with three emergencies! Climate breakdown, social inequality, and nature loss.


“A fantastic handbook for anyone wanting to get into action and transform the future of their city – dive in.”
- Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics
“This is a very unusual, very clever, very important book... Definitely a book to read, and to apply in practice.” 
- John Holloway, author of Change the World Without Taking Power and Crack Capitalism
“An excellent and superbly written book, which persuasively argues that the transformational change demanded by the ecological, democratic and social crises that our cities face can be brought about by the professional experts – we, us, the residents of cities.
- David Miller, Managing Director, C40 Centre for City Climate Policy and Economy
“This inspiring book shows that there are things we can all do, and perhaps we should focus more on them than worrying about our current predicament. A perfect guide to what is to be done.”
- Peter North, Professor of Alternative Economies, University of Liverpool
bottom of page