Join the Geography Coffee Hour this Thursday, March 1st at 3:45pm in room 445 Blegen Hall featuring Andrew Karvonen's presentation "Metronatural: Inventing Urban Nature in Seattle".
Research Fellow, Manchester Architecture Research Centre, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester
Seattle is often recognized as a city in harmony in nature, a metropolis inseparable from and infused with the dramatic and picturesque Pacific Northwest landscape. However, the historical record of Seattle reveals the supposedly harmonious relationship between humans and nature to be an invention of local and regional boosters in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who implemented large-scale engineering projects to rationalise the landscape. The unintended economic, environmental, and social consequences of their so-called 'Promethean' approach to urban nature would be exposed in the 1950s but the 'metronatural' reputation of Seattle persists. In this presentation, I examine the politics of nature in the historic development of Seattle to understand how changing perceptions of the urban landscape are related to different forms of expertise, governance, and citizenship.
NEW BOOK: Politics of Urban Runoff: Nature, Technology and the Sustainable City