1st Edition

Urban Enlightenment Multistakeholder Engagement and the City

By Shane Epting Copyright 2023

    This book applies the concept of moral ordering to urban affairs. It demonstrates how multi-stakeholder engagement can enhance the quality of city life while supporting ambitions such as ethical urban sustainability and human flourishing.

    While there is a history of philosophers viewing cities as technologies, cities’ encompassing nature inherently limits them. Urban sustainability matters often affect marginalized and vulnerable people, the public, nonhuman species, future generations, and urban artifacts. Problems can arise when stakeholders’ interests and needs appear at odds. The author argues in favor of the concept of moral ordering, a process designed to address issues involving different stakeholder groups such as municipal officials and residents. By employing moral ordering, a view comes into focus, revealing that the attention that each group receives reflects their place in the process, providing the necessary degree of moral respect. Finally, the author shows how moral ordering can lead to urban enlightenment. He examines real-world applications of moral ordering, such as New York City’s Participatory Budgeting Project, to make the case that municipalities can begin to bolster municipal-community relations in ways that promote urban enlightenment.

    Urban Enlightenment will appeal to researchers and advanced students working in philosophy of the city, applied ethics, philosophy of technology, urban planning, environmental studies, and political science.

    1. Introduction 

    2. From Cities to Municipalities 

    3. Moral Extensionism and the Municipality 

    4. Moral Ordering’s Structure 

    5. Marginalized and Vulnerable Stakeholders 

    6. The Public 

    7. The Nonhuman World 

    8. Future Generations 

    9. Urban Artifacts 

    10. Towards Congruent Knowledge for City Living 

    11. Municipalities, Urban Dwellers, and Urban Enlightenment 

    12. Urban Enlightenment, Participatory Budgeting, and Promising Projects


    Shane Epting is an assistant professor of Philosophy at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. His previous books include The Morality of Urban Mobility: Technology and Philosophy of the City, Saving Cities: A Taxonomy of Urban Technologies, and Ethics in Agribusiness: Justice and Global Food in Focus.