This book explores the role of the ideology of nature in producing urban and exurban sprawl. It examines the ironies of residential development on the metropolitan fringe, where the search for “nature” brings residents deeper into the world from which they are imagining their escape—of Federal Express, technologically mediated communications, global supply chains, and the anonymity of the global marketplace—and where many of the central features of exurbia—very low-density residential land use, monster homes, and conversion of forested or rural land for housing—contribute to the very problems that the social and environmental aesthetic of exurbia attempts to avoid. The volume shows how this contradiction—to live in the green landscape, and to protect the green landscape from urbanization—gets caught up and represented in the ideology of nature, and how this ideology, in turn, constitutes and is constituted by the landscapes being urbanized.
1. Introduction: Sprawl and the Ideology of Nature Laura Taylor and Kirsten Valentine Cadieux 2. Bridges in the Cultural Landscape: Crossing Nature in Exurbia Laura Taylor 3. Exurbia Meets Nature: Environmental Ideals for a Rootless Society Richard Judd 4. Airworld, the Genius Loci of Exurbia Andrew Blum 5. Rewilding Walden Woods and Reworking Exurban Woodlands: Higher Uses in Thoreau Country Brian Donahue 6. Sojourning in Nature: The Second-Home Exurban Landscapes of Ontario’s Near North Nik Luka 7. Design and Conservation in Québec City’s Rural-Urban Fringe: The Case of Lac-Beauport Geneviève Vachon and David Paradis 8. Time, Place, and Structure: Typo-Morphological Analysis of Three Calgary Neighborhoods Bev Sandalack and Andrei Nicolai 9. The Imagined Landscape: Language, Metaphor, and the Environmental Movement Thomas Looker 10. The Mortality of Trees in Exurbia’s Pastoral Modernity: Challenging Conservation Practices to Move Beyond Deferring Dialogue About the Meanings and Values of Environments Kirsten Valentine Cadieux Editors’ Epilogue: An Agenda for Addressing Green Sprawl Laura Taylor and Kirsten Valentine Cadieux