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Urban Political Ecology, Justice and the Politics of Scale

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Abstract:

This and the subsequent papers in this special issue set out the contours of Marxian urban political ecology and call for greater research attention to a neglected field of critical research that, given its political importance, requires urgent attention. Notwithstanding the important contributions of other critical perspectives on urban ecology, Marxist urban political ecology provides an integrated and relational approach that helps untangle the interconnected economic, political, social and ecological processes that together go to form highly uneven and deeply unjust urban landscapes. Because the power-laden socioecological relations that shape the formation of urban environments constantly shift between groups of actors and scales, historical-geographical insights into these ever-changing urban configurations are necessary for the sake of considering the future of radical political-ecological urban strategies. The social production of urban environments is gaining recognition within radical and historical-materialist geography. The political programme, then, of urban political ecology is to enhance the democratic content of socioenvironmental construction by identifying the strategies through which a more equitable distribution of social power and a more inclusive mode of environmental production can be achieved.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2003.00364.x

Affiliations: 1: Oxford University, UK 2: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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