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Imagining the dirty green city


Steele, W and Davison, A and Reed, A, Imagining the dirty green city, Australian Geographer, 51, (2) pp. 239-256. ISSN 0004-9182 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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© 2020 Geographical Society of New South Wales Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1080/00049182.2020.1727127


The green city is being elevated to the status of a self-evident good in the theory and practice of urban sustainability. A large literature documents the linked environmental, economic and well-being benefits associated with vegetating urban systems to maximise the ecosystem function. Contemporary urban greening seeks to challenge attempts to expel nature from the city in a quest for order and control. However, by imagining nature as a new mode of urban purification, much effort in the name of the green city inverts and reproduces dualistic understandings of natural and built space. In response, we disrupt the normative dialectics of purity and dirt that sustain this dualism to expose the untidy but fertile ground of the green city. We draw together Ash Amin’s four registers of the Good City – relatedness, rights, repair and re-enchantment – with the artworks of the Australian visual ecologist Aviva Reed. Our work seeks to enrich the practice of more-than-human urbanism through ‘dirt thinking’ by imagining the transformative possibilities in, of and for the dirty green city.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:urban nature, sustainability, urban greening, good city, more-than-human, dirt thinking, care
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Davison, A (Associate Professor Aidan Davison)
ID Code:137555
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2020-02-19
Last Modified:2021-07-05

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