Urban political ecology

Politicizing the production of urban natures

Nik Heynen, Maria Kaika, and Erik Swyngedouw

It is in practice, hard to see where "society" begins and "nature" ends... [I]n a fundamental sense, there is in the final analysis nothing unnatural about New York City.

(Harvey 1993:31, 28) Urbanization as a process has constituted the city and the countryside, society and nature, a "unity of opposites" constructed from the integrated, lived world of human social experience. At the same time, the "urbanization of consciousness" constitutes Nature as well as Space.

(FitzSimmons 1989:108) The "city" as a form of life is a specific, historically developed model of the regulation of the societal relationship with nature.. [U]rban struggles are predominantly socio-ecological struggles, since they are always about the social and material regulation and socio-cultural symbolization of societal relationships with nature.

(Jahn 1991:54—translation Keil 1995)

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