The Working Landscape: Founding, Preservation, and the Politics of Place / Edition 1

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Overview

In America today we see rampant development, unsustainable resource exploitation, and commodification ruin both natural and built landscapes, disconnecting us from our surroundings and threatening our fundamental sense of place. Meanwhile, preservationists often respond with a counterproductive stance that rejects virtually any change in the landscape. In The WorkingLandscape, Peter Cannavò identifies this zero-sum conflict between development and preservation as a major factor behind our contemporary crisis of place. Cannavò offers practical and theoretical alternatives to this deadlocked, polarized politics of place by proposing an approach that embraces both change and stability and unifies democratic and ecological values, creating a "working landscape."Place, Cannavò argues, is not just an object but an essential human practice that involves the physical and conceptual organization of our surroundings into a coherent, enduring landscape. This practice must balance development (which he calls "founding") and preservation.

Three case studies illustrate the polarizing development-preservation conflict: the debate over the logging of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest; the problem of urban sprawl; and the redevelopment of the former site of the World Trade Center in New York City. Cannavò suggests that regional, democratic governance is the best framework for integrating development and preservation,and he presents specific policy recommendations that aim to create a "working landscape" in rural,suburban, and urban areas. A postscript on the mass exile, displacement, and homelessness caused byHurricane Katrina considers the implications of future climate change for the practice of place.

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What People Are Saying

Andrew Dobson

"As our impact on the land increases, we seem to be faced with a dilemma:to continue to found new landscapes and settlements, or to preserve oldones.
In this far-reaching book, threaded through with illuminating andchallenging case studies, Peter Cannavo shows us what a mistake it is tocome down on one side or the other of this debate. Instead he makes apersuasive case for democratic engagement as the route to the effectiveintegration of founding and preservation. This is how to create a trulyworking landscape."--Andrew Dobson, Professor of Politics,
International Relations, and Environment, Keele University

Andrew Dobson, Keele University

From the Publisher
"An excellent book. Peter Cannavò examines a commonly noted dichotomy in environmentalismthe tension between preservation and developmentbut approaches it in a completely novel and thoroughly comprehensive way. Cannavò breaks down barriers between political theory,geography, urban design and planning, and sociology by weaving together arguments from all the disciplines in his critique of the preservation/development impasse, creating an academic space many of our colleagues have avoided. This comprehensive interdisciplinary approach is quite successful and is extremely rare in environmental thought."David Schlosberg , Professor andChair, Department of Political Science, Northern Arizona University

"As our impact on the land increases, we seem to be faced with a dilemma: to continue to found new landscapes and settlements, or to preserve old ones. In this far-reaching book,threaded through with illuminating and challenging case studies, Peter Cannavò shows us what a mistake it is to come down on one side or the other of this debate. Instead he makes a persuasive case for democratic engagement as the route to the effective integration of founding and preservation. This is how to create a truly working landscape." Andrew Dobson ,Professor of Politics, International Relations, and Environment, Keele University

Andrew Dobson
"As our impact on the land increases, we seem to be faced with a dilemma:to continue to found new landscapes and settlements, or to preserve oldones. In this far-reaching book, threaded through with illuminating andchallenging case studies, Peter Cannavo shows us what a mistake it is tocome down on one side or the other of this debate. Instead he makes apersuasive case for democratic engagement as the route to the effectiveintegration of founding and preservation. This is how to create a trulyworking landscape."—Andrew Dobson, Professor of Politics, InternationalRelations, and Environment, Keele University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262532921
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2007
  • Series: Urban and Industrial Environments
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 1,064,964
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Cannavò is Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Environmental StudiesProgram at Hamilton College and the author of The Working Landscape (MIT Press).

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Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: The Phantom Roads of Utah     1
Place: Founding and Preservation     15
The Northwest Timber War     49
Sprawl     93
Rebuilding Ground Zero     123
The Crisis of Place     173
The Working Landscape     219
A Policy Agenda     259
Postscript: Place and the Lessons of Katrina     301
Notes     307
Bibliography     377
Index     411
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  • Posted July 8, 2014

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