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Upscale golf and the urban-rural political ecology of leisure landscapes

Jönsson, Erik LU (2014) Relational landscape studies of urbanisation
Abstract
In light of its foundation in a distinctively relational analysis of spaces, the term ‘urban political ecology’ (see Heynen, Kaika & Swyngedouw, 2006; Loftus, 2012) has always been much too simplistic to fully cover what this strands optimally points towards. Despite emphasising ‘urban’ as signifier, cities conceptualized as “dense networks of interwoven sociospatial processes that are simultaneously local and global, human and physical, cultural and organic” (Swyngedouw & Heynen, 2003:899) suggests the necessity of abandoning the city-as-such as unit of analysis - or even as taken for granted point of departure for inquiries. It suggests the possibility for complex analyses able to target an urban bias inherent to so much critical... (More)
In light of its foundation in a distinctively relational analysis of spaces, the term ‘urban political ecology’ (see Heynen, Kaika & Swyngedouw, 2006; Loftus, 2012) has always been much too simplistic to fully cover what this strands optimally points towards. Despite emphasising ‘urban’ as signifier, cities conceptualized as “dense networks of interwoven sociospatial processes that are simultaneously local and global, human and physical, cultural and organic” (Swyngedouw & Heynen, 2003:899) suggests the necessity of abandoning the city-as-such as unit of analysis - or even as taken for granted point of departure for inquiries. It suggests the possibility for complex analyses able to target an urban bias inherent to so much critical theory (cf. Barraclough, 2013). In this paper I utilize inspiration drawn from urban political ecology to analyse the dynamics of upscale golf landscapes, thus simultaneously building on and ‘reversing’ urban political ecology by discussing green spaces outside cities’ administrative boundaries. I work with a relational ontology where spaces are regarded as constituted by a myriad of various flows and forces, I work with an emphasis on landscapes as simultaneously discursive and material, and I work with an approach emphasising the exertions of power and the struggles that constitute spaces (cf. Mitchell, 2008; Swyngedouw & Heynen, 2003).



Built on preferences for scenic vistas and undisturbed nature, and often built on the appropriation and selective transformation of manorial landscapes, upscale golf landscapes are intimately tied to popular conceptualisations of attractive rural milieus. But simultaneously attracting tourists travelling from far away urban centres, and providing lush green meeting-spaces for firms where offices otherwise often occupy central places in metropolitan areas these landscapes defy any neat distinction between urban and rural (cf. Woods, 2007, 2013). Topographically removed from the concrete and high-rises these high-end leisure landscapes nonetheless exist in symbiosis with these spaces. They thrive from the established road and rail networks connecting suburbs and city centres, and the networks of planes and airports connecting continents with each other. Thus these landscapes aptly illuminate how, just like cities, ‘peri-urban’ or ‘rural’ spaces are dense network of interwoven sociospatial processes tying together many places (cities and countrysides) and many actors (human, and non-human). (Less)
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Relational landscape studies of urbanisation
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English
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yes
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e80d19df-e07c-47f0-b6ee-021a74b0c3b9 (old id 5218903)
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2015-03-30 11:47:37
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@misc{e80d19df-e07c-47f0-b6ee-021a74b0c3b9,
  abstract     = {In light of its foundation in a distinctively relational analysis of spaces, the term ‘urban political ecology’ (see Heynen, Kaika &amp; Swyngedouw, 2006; Loftus, 2012) has always been much too simplistic to fully cover what this strands optimally points towards. Despite emphasising ‘urban’ as signifier, cities conceptualized as “dense networks of interwoven sociospatial processes that are simultaneously local and global, human and physical, cultural and organic” (Swyngedouw &amp; Heynen, 2003:899) suggests the necessity of abandoning the city-as-such as unit of analysis - or even as taken for granted point of departure for inquiries. It suggests the possibility for complex analyses able to target an urban bias inherent to so much critical theory (cf. Barraclough, 2013). In this paper I utilize inspiration drawn from urban political ecology to analyse the dynamics of upscale golf landscapes, thus simultaneously building on and ‘reversing’ urban political ecology by discussing green spaces outside cities’ administrative boundaries. I work with a relational ontology where spaces are regarded as constituted by a myriad of various flows and forces, I work with an emphasis on landscapes as simultaneously discursive and material, and I work with an approach emphasising the exertions of power and the struggles that constitute spaces (cf. Mitchell, 2008; Swyngedouw &amp; Heynen, 2003).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Built on preferences for scenic vistas and undisturbed nature, and often built on the appropriation and selective transformation of manorial landscapes, upscale golf landscapes are intimately tied to popular conceptualisations of attractive rural milieus. But simultaneously attracting tourists travelling from far away urban centres, and providing lush green meeting-spaces for firms where offices otherwise often occupy central places in metropolitan areas these landscapes defy any neat distinction between urban and rural (cf. Woods, 2007, 2013). Topographically removed from the concrete and high-rises these high-end leisure landscapes nonetheless exist in symbiosis with these spaces. They thrive from the established road and rail networks connecting suburbs and city centres, and the networks of planes and airports connecting continents with each other. Thus these landscapes aptly illuminate how, just like cities, ‘peri-urban’ or ‘rural’ spaces are dense network of interwoven sociospatial processes tying together many places (cities and countrysides) and many actors (human, and non-human).},
  author       = {Jönsson, Erik},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Upscale golf and the urban-rural political ecology of leisure landscapes},
  year         = {2014},
}