Urban Greening beyond Cities
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.
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