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Urban Nature: (The) Good and (The) Bad


"The article discusses the evolution of the relationship between nature and the urban environment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Europe and the United States, a relationship which was mainly framed in terms of public health issues. From the first hygienist utopias, it examines how urban ecologies developed through the analysis of the great figures of urbanism, who are the source of urban theories and utopias. Ultimately, it explores how environments today are redesigned and standardized for health ideals enrolled in the tradition of urban planning. The article argues the following thesis: spatial and urban planning have long been the tools of biopolitics, i.e. political engagement in all dimensions of life in order to monitor, preserve and control it. Public health becomes the objective of biopolitics as the way we tried, from the eighteenth century onwards, to rationalize the problems posed to government practice by the phenomena resulting from an assembly of living beings making up a population: health, hygiene, birth, life and race relations. It was then that some key concepts were shaped (such as population), forms of knowledge (such as statistics and demography) and practices (hygiene, public safety, etc.). These notions are all linked with the development of modern urban planning conceived as a discipline. To act on the territory is to act on the population, categorised as bodies." (source éditeur)


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hal-02457834 , version 1 (28-01-2020)



Nathalie Blanc. Urban Nature: (The) Good and (The) Bad. Florence Bretelle-Establet; Marie Gaille; Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi. Making Sense of Health, Disease, and the Environment in Cross-Cultural History: The Arabic-Islamic World, China, Europe, and North America, Springer, pp.287-308, 2020, Boston studies in the philosophy and history of science, v. 333, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-19082-8_12⟩. ⟨hal-02457834⟩
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