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The park made of oil: towards a historical political ecology of the Kenneth Hahn state recreation area


Byrne, J and Kendrick, M and Sroaf, D, The park made of oil: towards a historical political ecology of the Kenneth Hahn state recreation area, Local Environment, 12, (2) pp. 153-181. ISSN 1354-9839 (2007) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2007 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13549830601161830


Within the park-deprived inner-city landscapes of Los Angeles, an unprecedented change is underway. Long considered to be the epitome of anti-nature, Los Angeles is witnessing a boom in park development and ecological restoration. Derelict, blighted and contaminated inner-city brownfield sites are being converted to greenspaces, nature parks and wildlife refuges. Indeed, Los Angeles has been the recent recipient of hitherto unimaginable political and fiscal support to ameliorate the dearth of parks in its neglected urban core. This paper situates the current round of park development within its historical context, by focusing on a very particular local site—the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Applying the theoretical lens of political ecology, the authors trace some of the political, economic, ecological and institutional factors from the late 1920s onwards, which engendered the creation of a park atop an oilfield. In so doing, the authors deepen the understanding of how local greenspace allocation, poverty, race and political power are oftentimes complexly entangled. Precursor to a much larger project currently in the planning and development stages, the creation of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area reveals some of the ways that the Southern California oil industry has shaped nature spaces in Los Angeles.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:brownfield site, conservation planning, greenspace, landscape planning, park design
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Urban and regional planning
Research Field:Land use and environmental planning
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in built environment and design
UTAS Author:Byrne, J (Professor Jason Byrne)
ID Code:125329
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-04-13
Last Modified:2018-05-07

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