The Meaningful City: Toward a Theory of Public Meaningfulness, City Institutions, and Civic Work

Ruth Yeoman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter applies the value of meaningfulness to a philosophy of the city. It argues that philosophies of the city can supply smart and sustainable city initiatives with human values and attention to the common good which they currently lack. By bringing the value of meaningfulness into a description of city-making, the chapter shows how city people have responsibilities to make the city when the activities of social cooperation associated with discharging such responsibilities are constituted by freedom, autonomy, and dignity, and when the social interactions of meaning-making are just. The features of an ethico-normative architecture which is capable of promoting city-level meaningfulness are specified. These include three core elements: public meaningfulness; the society of meaning-makers; and agonistic republicanism. City-making organized to manifest these features will generate a rich diversity of meaning sources on which city people can draw to craft meaningfulness in life and in work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work
EditorsRuth Yeoman, Catherine Bailey, Adrian Madden, Marc Thompson
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780198788232
ISBN (Print)9780198788232
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks
PublisherOxford University Press


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