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Biodiversity conservation and brownfield sites: a scalar political ecology?

Evans, James Philip Martin (2003)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis develops a multi-scalar political ecology of biodiversity conservation on brownfield sites in Birmingham, U.K. While urban brownfield biodiversity is increasingly recognised as a valuable resource, political pressure to develop such spaces is also growing. Forty-five interviews were conducted with practitioners and policy makers, supported by genealogical and discursive analyses of a range of texts, to interrogate this tension. Common discourses structuring ecological, conservation and planning activities are traced across national and international levels, to contextualise the formulation and implementation of biodiversity action plans at the local level. Because urban landscapes are characterised by disequilibrium, planning policies and ecological models under-represent the worth of these spaces. The mediation of these discourses through local networks of actors engaged in the biodiversity action plan process is explored socially and geographically. A scalar political ecology of urban planning is developed through the consideration of wildlife corridors, and a case study of a specific brownfield site. The thesis offers an integrative analysis of socioecological transformation, and urban ecological governance. It is argued that while the BAP process has the potential to reconfigure urban geographies, it is currently sterile because such forms of sustainable governance contradict the dominant ‘scalar fix’ of capitalism.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Department:Environmental Sciences
Subjects:G Geography (General)
GE Environmental Sciences
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:185
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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