Could the Anthropocene Be an “Urbanocene”?

Michel Lussault, University of Lyon

Monday 22 April 4-530pm, 315A Wurster Hall


A 2004 publication of the IGBP (Global Change and the Earth System) postulated that the Anthropocene really began with what was called “the great acceleration” of the 1950s, based on a clear break in the evolution of societies and the economy, and in the functioning of the earth system.  Lussault argues that this break was linked to the start of massive urbanization of the planet. The Anthropocene would thus be an “urbanocene”, that is to say, a spectacular evolution of the earth system, with urbanization as a primary driver.  The seminar is sponsored by the UC Berkeley Global Metropolitan Studies Program and co-sponsored by the Institute of International Studies interdisciplinary faculty seminar Water Management: Past and Future Adaptation.


Michel Lussault is a  geographer and professor of urban global studies at the University of Lyon, (Ecole Normale Supérieure), France. A well-known specialist in urban studies and theoretical geography, he has published many books and scientific papers, and given lectures in universities throughout France and elsewhere. Since 2005 his research has centered on global urbanization as a new “milieu” for people, issues of urban vulnerability, “spatial care” as a framework for understanding global change adaptation, and the urban anthropocene.  He received an 8-year grant from the French National Program “Investments For Future” to create a new intensive and elite scientific and graduation program, Lyon School of Urban Anthropocene Studies (