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Reactionary Landscape: The Discourse of Naturalism as a Grand Narrative

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This article addresses the question of whether the discourse of naturalism – whose image is the green roof and whose conceptual reference is the idea of 'nature' – has now become the one and only 'grand narrative' of the supermodern era. In other words, is it one of our era's dominant ideologies? To add a theoretical dimension of thickness to this apparently superficial phenomenon it is necessary to penetrate the 'verdant mantle' covering our cities and to unpack the highly polemical and unstable terms – 'grand narrative', 'ideology' and 'supermodern'. In short, the argument of the paper, is that the supermodern era is dominated by one hegemonic idea – that of nature as opposed to progress; that idea is deployed in the public space by means of an ideology – the narrative of nature; that ideology is structured around a figure – the landscape; and that landscape is made up of images and words – projects and their accompanying verbal accounts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2018

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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