Urban socio-ecological imaginaries: the discourses of urban natures

The discourses of urban natures, their practices and outcomes are crucial to understand urban environmental injustice and inequality:

There is a growing global awareness of the environmental crisis (global warming, new diseases, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, pollution…):

 

 

Click here to read a list of topics on which further research is needed.

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Socio-ecological circulation of urban metabolisms: Hybrid natures and Cyborg cities

Read the definitions of some key terms: metabolism, urban metabolism, capitalism.

 

But further research is needed!

 

 

To really understand the role of the state in environmental injustice political economic studies of state restructuring and neo-liberalisation are needed.

Urban political ecology

Urban political ecology (UPE) is a school of critical urban political-environmental research (Heynen et al. 2006b) which complements the view of Environmental Justice:

On the basis of the school of urban political ecology there are three main thinkers:

 

Click here to read references to some urban political ecology monographs.

The main ideas of urban political ecology are:

 

To sum up:

However, the two approaches are compatible:

Antecedents to urban sustainability throughout the 20th century

Meanwhile, engineers and urban planners transformed the city:

In the late 1960s:

McHarg’s (1969). Design with Nature. First guidelines to ‘ecologise’ the city:

In the 1970s:

1920s antecedents to urban sustainability

Check some academic references stressing the inevitable interconnection Urbanisation – Nature.

Late 19th Century antecedents to urban sustainability

In the late 19th century we find the first urban sociological perspectives, which link the discovery of bacteria to social exclusion and inequality.

These first urban sociological approaches introduce attemps to re-imagine cities.

 

Mid 19th Century antecedents to urban sustainability

Both social authors and natural scientists proposed theories on urban sustainability.

Social authors, such as Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1971 [1844]),  showed the following relationships:

Natural scientists, such as Jacob Moleschott (1852) and Justus von Liebig (1855), among others also pointed out this relationship:

The main concept behind these antecedents is that of metabolic notion: the city and the environment exchange energy and substances. 

The city is conceived as an organism, which receives from the environment and gives away to the environment. This exchange is vital:

Karl Marx incorporated this idea in Capital by Karl Marx (1981 [1867] p. 949):

Marx also described the consequences of the metabolic division in Capital (1981 [1867] p. 949).