Civic Modes of Greening the City? Urban Natures In-between Familiar Engagement and Green Critique

Jakob Laage-Thomsen, Anders Blok

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we deploy the loosely bounded phenomenon of “urban green communities” – in the shape of urban gardening, beekeeping, food collectives, biodiversity enhancement, tree planting and kindred citizen-based group practices towards urban greening – in order to probe the wide variations in modes of civic engagement with urban sustainability politics. As such, we explore the conceptual gaps opened up in-between everyday lifestyle politics, green social movements and critiques of neoliberal urban political economies, by leveraging a novel and fine-grained conceptualization of civic and place-based material participation built from pragmatic sociology. The work of Laurent Thévenot on regimes of engagement, in particular, allow us to trace translations in-between the familiar attachments and the public critiques undertaken by urban green communities in ways that expand the frame on socio-material politics relative to current research conversations. Empirically, we leverage this re-conceptualization as part of a comprehensive digital mapping exercise set in Denmark, in which we trace core patterns and differences in modes of urban-green politics at the level of everyday citizen practices and group interaction styles across a diversity of urban green communities. Having identified six such civic modes of urban greening and specified their group styles of engagement, we end by discussing the implications of our findings for questions of care, justice and democracy in sustainable city-making.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLocal Environment: The international journal of justice and sustainability
Volume25
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)162-178
Number of pages17
ISSN1354-9839
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Civic Environmentalism
  • Engagement Regimes
  • Group Styles
  • Material Politics
  • Place Attachment
  • Urban Greening

Cite this

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Civic Modes of Greening the City? Urban Natures In-between Familiar Engagement and Green Critique. / Laage-Thomsen, Jakob; Blok, Anders.

In: Local Environment: The international journal of justice and sustainability, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2020, p. 162-178.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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