Urban nature and the ecological imaginary

Authored by: Matthew Gandy

The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138058880
eBook ISBN: 9781315163956
Adobe ISBN:


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The essay “Urban Nature and the Ecological Imaginary” was originally published in 2006 as part of an edited collection entitled In the Nature of Cities: Urban Political Ecology and the Politics of Urban Metabolism. We consider a series of different ways in which urban nature has been conceptualized under modernity, ranging from functional interactions to more aesthetic or decorative elements. We suggest that much contemporary urban discourse is still suffused with a variety of organicist ideas derived from the nineteenth century that have been further elaborated under the impetus towards an “ecological imaginary”. This chapter explores an alternative conceptual lexicon that is better suited to the cultural and historical specificities of capitalist urbanization.

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