Introduction: Greening in the Red Zone

  • Keith G. TidballEmail author
  • Marianne E. Krasny


‘Greening in the red zone’ refers to post-catastrophe, community-based stewardship of nature, and how these often spontaneous, local stewardship actions serve as a source of social-ecological resilience in the face of severe hardship. In this introductory chapter, we provide the reader with the fundamentals needed to understand our argument for why and how greening in the red zone occurs and to what end. We begin with a brief introduction to the terms ‘greening’, ‘red zone’, and ‘resilience’. We then briefly introduce the two types of evidence presented in this book. First are explanations from a large body of research on the impacts of both passive contact with, and active stewardship of, nature, and from a growing network of social and ecological resilience scholars who subscribe to the notion that change is to be expected and planned for, and that identifying sources of resilience in the face of change—including the ability to adapt and to transform—is crucial to the long-term well-being of humans, their communities, and the environment. The second source of evidence are the long and short descriptions of greening in red zones from post-disaster and post-conflict settings around the world, ranging from highly visible and symbolic initiatives like the greening of the Berlin Wall, to smaller-scale efforts such as planting a community garden in a war zone. We summarize the research-based explanations and long and short case descriptions of greening in the red zone in three tables at the end of this chapter.


Greening Red zones Social-ecological systems Resilience Civic ecology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civic Ecology Lab, Department of Natural ResourcesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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