Challenging dichotomies - exploring resilience as an integrative and operative conceptual framework for large-scale urban green structures
2013 (English)In: Planning Theory & Practice, ISSN 1464-9357, E-ISSN 1470-000X, Vol. 14, no 3, 349-372 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Balancing interests of urban growth and development against the need to safeguard socially equitable and ecologically functional green space is a core urban planning issue. These urban needs are still commonly seen through a modernist lens where green areas are viewed as an antithesis to the city, creating a polarized landscape seemingly free from cross-scale social and ecological interactions.
This study aims to challenge this polarisation by using the concept of resilience both as a theoretical umbrella and applied to a case study. More operative and integrative planning approaches to large-scale urban green structures are here explored and discussed. The study reports on a trans-disciplinary work process designed by the authors as a sequence of workshops attended by ecologists, urban planners, architects, landscape architects and environmental historians and outreach meetings set in comprehensive planning and policy contexts. The explorations took the form of design experiments based in a suburban stretch of Stockholm (Sweden) which served as a basis for the discussions. This approach aimed to bring questions from a theoretical and general level and to discuss these in relation to a specific, local context in order to explore key points of conflict and possible alternatives.
Three recurring themes upholding dichotomist views on the urban landscape were identified: 1) large size and scale mismatches, 2) problems of artificial borders; and 3) static views of urban nature leading to a lack of interest in future potential. The resilience concept was useful for highlighting options and opening up for innovation and change, but at the same time it was identified as in need of complementary approaches to identify goals and to bring people on board. Through our design experiments, we show how synergies and social-ecological resilience can encourage creative solutions rather than polarizing positions. Drawing on recent practice-based discourse on large parks, we suggest the adoption of legibility, i.e. to work with people's perceptions and understanding of their surroundings through design, within the resilience framework. There is a clear need to further explore how such approaches can complement the resilience concept in social-ecological systems governance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 14, no 3, 349-372 p.
urban development, nature conservation, resilience, integrative and operative approaches, interdisciplinary, green wedges, Stockholm, Sweden
Ecology Landscape Architecture
Research subject Systems Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-50221DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2013.813960OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-50221DiVA: diva2:380652