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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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Building an Urban Future through Nature

Building an Urban Future through Nature

(p.54) Chapter 2 Building an Urban Future through Nature
How Green Became Good

Hillary Angelo

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 shows how urbanized nature was put to work, materially, through the construction of garden cities in the Ruhr, focusing on Krupp’s Margarethenhöhe in Essen. While the colonies provided access to nature for subsistence purposes, at Margarethenhöhe animal keeping and subsistence agriculture were forbidden. Instead, the chapter documents gardens and green space being used and understood in the contemporary sense: bearing indirect moral and affective goods, rather than direct, material ones, and fulfilling an urban-aspirational, rather than rural-preservationist, vision of society. The chapter illustrates nature’s new uses at Margarethenhöhe through Krupp’s changing understanding of its company housing from fiefdom to suburb, of its green space from a site of labor to leisure, and of its residents from peasants to urban citizens. It also documents how this emergent view of nature spread throughout the region and to the public sector. Finally, it argues that these new perceptions of nature found affinities with new liberal forms of managerial power and control. While greening was understood in terms of the provision of public goods, it had also become a new managerial technology that imposed new norms of behavior and citizenship as it transformed cities as physical and social spaces.

Keywords:   Margarethenhöhe, Essen, garden cities, municipal governance, embourgeoisment, managerial technologies, urbanized nature

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