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How Green Became GoodUrbanized Nature and the Making of Cities and Citizens$
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Hillary Angelo

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226738994

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226739182.001.0001

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Urban Greening beyond Cities

(p.1) Introduction
How Green Became Good

Hillary Angelo

University of Chicago Press

The introduction provides a theoretical overview of the book. It presents the main question of the book—how and why a “green-as-good” logic endemic to planning and design of urban green space has become so ubiquitous across the world today—and outlines the book’s main arguments. It defines urban greening as a social practice and outlines why a new, sociological and historical explanation of this phenomenon is needed, arguing that greening has been misunderstood as an ideological reaction to the industrial city by urban scholarship shaped by city/nature and culture/materialism binaries. It introduces the Ruhr as a case of urban greening in the absence of a traditional city, and outlines characteristic logics of the practice that are identified through the historical analysis: that signifiers of nature are consistently constructed as indirect, universal, and aspirational goods; that urbanized nature is an imaginary of form, not content; that greening is a mode of remaking cities, spatially and socially, rather than an escape from urban life; and that greening projects are normative projects carried out and received as public goods. The introduction also outlines the content of each of the chapters that follow.

Keywords:   urban greening, social imaginaries, urbanization, urban theory, historical sociology, materialism, culture, city/nature binaries

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