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Berlin’s Intercultural Gardens: Urban Landscapes of Social-Ecological Memory
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Efforts to achieve urban sustainability include ecological practices within civic society. A prominent example of this is the voluntary stewardship of green urban spaces such as community gardening. People participating in these practices – so the argument goes – draw on social-ecological memory (SE-memory) – knowledge, experience, and practice of local ecosystem management. The present study scrutinises the components and implications of the concept of SE-memory. It identifies and fills a theoretical gap by investigating and adding neglected dimensions of individual memory while strengthening the concept’s social component by examining implications of SE-memory for its actual individual carriers. The study centres on Berlin’s intercultural gardens – urban community gardens where processes of SE-memory are particularly diverse. It is based on five months of fieldwork, including intensive participant observations and in-depth interviews in such gardens. The findings show that the reviving, modifying, and transmitting of SE-memory involve expressions of individuality as well as community and comprise inter-locking streams of both individual and social memory. These play a pivotal role for individuals’ sense of belonging, social inclusion, and commitment to cultural diversity central to the intercultural gardens’ contribution to social urban sustainability as they provide space for personal memory revival, allow for people to practice their culture of origin, and offer points of manifold exchange with others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Social-ecological memory, intercultural gardens, social urban sustainability, civic ecology, Berlin
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91106OAI: diva2:630859
Available from: 2013-07-11 Created: 2013-06-19 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved

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