|Published online: April 4, 2014||Free Download|
With ecological threats being used to legitimize the introduction of radical forms of property development, it is important to understand their discursive operation. An analysis of media texts, meetings and places around the North Port Quay “sustainable development” project – proposed by a consortium of property developers for a 345-hectare seabed site off the coast of Fremantle in Western Australia – found that global ecological threats were read by local citizens in heterogeneous ways influenced by their sensual experience of space. Attempts to legitimize North Port Quay through representation of scientifically-demonstrable future phenomena threatening the world were not rejected by engaged citizens but, rather, reinscribed as development threats to sensually experienced objects such as “our beaches”. These citizens responded conservatively and antagonistically when they felt that “our beaches” and other objects of affective investment were being threatened. Their desire to restore experience of such objects served to unify a popular movement that prevented North Port Quay through localized practices of institutional democracy. This study suggests that attempts to shift local planning decisions to regional decision-making bodies in the name of solving global ecological threats should be resisted because of the open meaning of these threats and their relation to sensually experienced objects of local environments; which, when threatened, produce powerful antagonisms.
|Keywords:||Green Built Environment, Sustainable Development, Environmental Discourse, Ecological Threats, Cultural Studies, Urban Planning|
Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2, June 2014, pp.31-37. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 192.466KB)).
Early Career Development Fellow, School of Media, Culture, & Creative Arts, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia