Environmentalism

Download Environmental City: People, Place, Politics, and the Meaning by William Scott Jr. Swearingen PDF

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By William Scott Jr. Swearingen

As Austin grew from a school and executive city of the Fifties into the sprawling urban of 2010, rules of Austin as a spot got here into clash. many that promoted the ideology of progress believed Austin will be outlined through fiscal output, cash, and wealth. yet many others proposal Austin used to be as a substitute outlined by way of its caliber of existence. as the common atmosphere contributed quite a bit to Austin's caliber of existence, a social circulation that desired to guard the city's setting grew to become the forefront of a bigger move that desired to keep a distinct experience of position. The "environmental stream" in Austin turned the political and symbolic arm of the extra common circulate for place.

This is a historical past of the environmental move in Austin—how it all started; what it did; and the way it promoted principles concerning the relationships among humans, towns, and the surroundings. it's also a couple of deeper flow to hold a feeling of position that's Austin, and the way that deeper stream keeps to form the way in which Austin is outfitted this day. the town it helped to create is now at the leading edge of nationwide efforts to reconsider how we construct our towns, decrease worldwide warming, and locate ways in which people and the surroundings can coexist in an enormous city.

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Growth and profit are also part of our economic system today. We are taught notions about the goodness of profit, and the greatness of growth, by the capitalism in which we are raised. Because we are raised in such an economic system, most of us simply assume the way that system functions is correct, normal, and true. Thus we are socialized to think about our land, our spaces, and our places in terms of profit and value. Social geographers apply this basic sociological idea of cultural filters to studies of the relationship between people and their environments.

But regardless of how we think of them, each is thought of as a unique place based on their natural, built, and social features. The fact that different people have different representations in their heads about different cities is an important aspect of place, because it helps us understand why place can be contentious. People who have different ideas about how to use space often come into conflict because of the different uses to which they want to put that space. Those uses are often caused by the roles we fill in our social order.

When you think of your home as a place, for example, what do you see in your mind? A house, yes, but most likely you also think about what goes on in that house—what your family members do there, how they relate to one another, the kinds of emotions that are caused by your relationship to those people. Place can also be defined on a larger scale. What do you see in your mind when you say, “I work at a great (or lousy) place”? Again, it is not just the buildings in which you work, but what happens to you in those buildings.

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