Children, Nature, Cities: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Children, Nature, Cities

1st Edition

By Ann Marie F. Murnaghan, Laura J. Shillington

Routledge

240 pages

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pub: 2018-02-06
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Description

Why does the way we think about urban children and urban nature matter? This volume explores how dichotomies between nature/culture, rural/urban, and child/adult have structured our understandings about the place of children and nature in the city. By placing children and youth at the center of re-theorising the city as a socio-natural space, the book illustrates how children and youth's relations to and with nature can change adultist perspectives and help create more ecologically and socially just cities. As a key contribution to children's studies, the book engages and enlivens debates in urban political ecology and urban theory, which have not yet treated age as an important axis of difference. With examples from ten localities, the chapters in this volume ask how we can subvert both romanticized and modernist conceptualizations of nature and childhood that conflate innocence and purity with children and nature; the volume asks what happens when we re-invent urban natures with children's needs and perspectives in mind.

Reviews

"Urban political ecology has opened up the ways we understand the interconnected socio-natural relations that produce uneven cities. This wonderful collection contributes much to these efforts by pushing us to take seriously the ways urban nature is embodied through children's needs and perspectives. Taking this book seriously will make us better scholars and better people." Nik Heynen, University of Georgia, USA

"This edited volume nicely deconstructs dichotomous ways of conceptualizing children and cities. In so doing, the book challenges the anti-urban discourse that dominates within children's studies. It is made clear that both children and nature belong to the city and the book offers multiple ways that help to accommodate growing up in urban-nature environments in a more just way." Lia Karsten, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Table of Contents

1. Children, Nature, and the City

(Laura J. Shillington and Ann Marie F. Murnaghan)

Section 1: Placing Normal Natures: The Moral Geographies of Young People’s Environments

2. Nature in the Nursery: The Homemaker and Craftsman, 1890-1915

(Frederika Eilers)

3. Digging Outside the Sandbox: Ecological Politics of Sand and Urban Children

(Laura J. Shillington and Ann Marie F. Murnaghan)

4. ‘Are we there yet?’ How Children from South Central, Los Angeles Negotiate Access to the Urban Coast

(Michelle Palma)

5. ‘Cos it’s Like Lots of People What are Naughty’: Exploring Learning Disabled Young People’s Avoidance of Urban Parks in Manchester, UK

(Nadia von Benzon)

Section 2: Negotiating Natures: Youth, Politics, and Environmental Change

6. Nature’s Legacy: Children, Development and Urban Access in Fanjingshan, China

(Stuart C. Aitken, Li An, Steven Allison, and Shuang Yang)

7. What’s Good in the ‘Hood: The Production of Youth, Nature, and Knowledge

(Jason Douglas)

8. Unexpected Encounters with Nature in the City: Urban Youth and the Margins of Public Space in Tacoma, Washington

(Matthew Kelley)

Section 3: Learning and Growing: Planning for Urban Natures

9. Nature in Urban Children’s Daily Life in Catalonia

(Mireia Baylina, Anna Ortiz, and Maria Prats Ferret)

10. Shaping OurSpace: Children’s Embodiment and Engaging Nature

(Amanda Rees, Becky Becker, Camille Bryant, and Andrea Frazier)

11. Ecological design: collaborative landscape design with school children

(Keitaro Ito, Tomomi Sudo, and Ingunn Fjørtoft)

12. Conclusion

(Laura J. Shillington and Ann Marie F. Murnaghan)

About the Authors

Ann Marie F. Murnaghan is Research Associate at the Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures at University of Winnipeg, Canada.

Laura J. Shillington is faculty in Geosciences at John Abbott College and Research Associate at the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre at Concordia University, Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL002000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
SOC015000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography