Advertisement

Topophilia, Biophilia and Greening in the Red Zone

  • Richard C. StedmanEmail author
  • Micah Ingalls
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter presents a theoretical framework for integrating Wilson’s notion of biophilia (1984) with Tuan’s (1980) notion of topophilia (literally ‘love of place’). The natural biotic environment core to the biophilia hypothesis represents a crucial—and oft overlooked in urban areas—element of ‘place’ or neighborhood, but there are other elements—neighbors, relationships, memories, landmarks, the built environment—that are similarly emotion-laden and can serve as the basis for action that promotes community rebirth and recovery. As such, resilience in the face of both sudden disasters and slow erosion of communities requires examining these elements in tandem.

Topophilia emphasizes attachment to place and the symbolic meanings that underlie this attachment. Any place embodies a multiplicity of meanings, some nature-based and some not, although some places exhibit a wider range than others. Post-disaster reconstruction of place thus involves the re-building of attachment-affirming meanings that characterized the place pre-disaster and/or the freedom to rebuild spaces in such a way that new, desirable meanings are created and obsolete or threatening meanings jettisoned. It is crucial to remember that these meanings—including those that have biophilia and topophilia-based roots—are fundamentally social and cultural, and therefore often political, in that they vary across social groups possessing differing types and levels of power. In short, some sets of meanings will have an easier path to reconstruction than others. The implications of socioeconomic power differentials—and how they co-vary with symbolic meanings—are therefore significant in the re-creation of meanings.

The authors place red zone settings in a comparative framework. It is widely recognized that resilience is not a general principle, but must always be asked as ‘resilience of what to what’? (Carpenter et al. 2001). Communities that have faced slow erosion of community capacity through outmigration of industry, jobs, services, and youth face different immediate challenges vis-à-vis resilience than communities that have thus experienced violent conflict or catastrophic disaster. However, these challenges may shift over time in such a way as to be more consistent with those faced by communities which have been subjected to rapid devastation. Making comparisons across these community types may help us to gain a deeper understanding of the multiple manifestations of biophilia and topophilia, including how they are played out in activities such as greening, and their role as a source of resilience in social-ecological systems.

Keywords

Topophilia Place attachment Urban decline Restoration of place 

References

  1. Alkon, A. (2004). Place, stories and consequences. Organization and Environment, 17, 145–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barthel, S., Colding, J., et al. (2005). History and local management of a biodiversity-rich, urban cultural landscape. Ecology and Society, 10(2), 352–387.Google Scholar
  3. Blaikie, P., Cannon, T., Davis, I., & Weisner, B. (1994). At risk; natural hazards, people’s vulnerability, and disasters. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, B., Perkins, D. P., & Brown, G. (2003). Place attachment in a revitalizing neighborhood: Individual and block-level analysis. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 259–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cheng, A. S., Kruger, L. E., & Daniels, S. E. (2003). ‘Place’ as an integrating concept in natural resource politics: Propositions for a social research agenda. Society and Natural Resources, 16, 87–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Erikson, K. T. (1976). Everything in its path: Destruction of community in the Buffalo Creek flood. New York: Touchstone.Google Scholar
  7. Freudenburg, W. R. (1993). Risk and recreancy: Weber, the division of labor, and the rationality of risk perception. Social Forces, 71, 909–932.Google Scholar
  8. Freudenburg, W. R. (1997). Contamination, corrosion and the social order: An overview? Current Sociology, 45.Google Scholar
  9. Freudenburg, W. R. (2000). The ‘Risk Society’ reconsidered: Recreancy, the Division of Labor and the Social Fabric. In M. J. Cohen (Ed.), Risk in the modern age: Social theory, science and environmental decision-making (pp. 107–120). London: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  10. Freudenburg, W. R., & Jones, T. R. (1991). Attitudes and stress in the presence of technological risk: A test of the Supreme Court hypothesis. Social Forces, 69, 1143–1169.Google Scholar
  11. Fried, M. (2000). Continuities and discontinuities of place. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20, 193–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fullilove, M. T. (1996). Psychiatric implication of displacement: Contributions from the psychology of place. The American Journal of Psychology, 153, 1516–1523.Google Scholar
  13. Graff, B. (2006). Positive emotions in residential environments. The residential context of health at the European network for housing research. In Workshop at ‘Housing in an expanding Europe: Theory, policy, participation and implementation’ conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia.Google Scholar
  14. Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. The American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greider, T., & Garkovich, L. (1994). Landscapes: The social construction of nature and the environment. Rural Sociology, 59(1), 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heerwagen, J. H., & Orians, G. H. (1993). Humans, habitats and aesthetics. In S. R. Kellert & E. O. Wilson (Eds.), The biophilia hypothesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hogg, M. A., & Terry, D. J. (2000). Social-identity and self-categorization processes in organizational contexts. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 121–140.Google Scholar
  18. Ingalls, M. L. (2009). Growing home: Displaced communities, urban gardening and the re-creation of place-based identity. Ithaca: Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University.Google Scholar
  19. Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kasperson, J., Kasperson, R., & Turner, B. L. (1996). Regions at risk: Comparisons of threatened environments. Washington, DC: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kellert, S. R., & Wilson, E. O. (1993). The biophilia hypothesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kroll-Smith, J. S., & Couch, S. R. (1990). The real disaster is above ground: A mine fire and social conflict. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.Google Scholar
  23. Lohr, V. I., & Pearson-Mims, C. H. (2006). Responses to scenes with spreading, rounded, and conical tree forms. Environment and Behavior, 38(5), 667–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Massey, D. (1993). Power geometry and a progressive sense of place. In J. Bird, B. Curtis, T. Putnam, G. Robertson, & L. Tickner (Eds.), Mapping the futures (pp. 59–69). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Matarrita-Cascante, D., Stedman, R., & Luloff, A. E. (2010). Permanent and seasonal residents’ attachment in natural-amenity rich areas: Exploring the contribution of landscape factors. Environment and Behavior, 42, 197–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meinig, D. W. (1979). Symbolic landscapes: Models of American community. In D. W. Meinig (Ed.), Interpretation of ordinary landscapes (pp. 164–192). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Miller, D. S. (2006). Visualizing the corrosive community: Looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Space and Culture, 9(1), 71–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Molotch, H., Freudenburg, W. R., & Paulsen, K. E. (2000). History repeats itself, but how? City character, urban tradition and the accomplishment of place. American Sociological Review, 65(6), 791–823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pelling, M. (2003). The vulnerability of cities: Natural disasters and social resilience. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  30. Pendall, R. (2003). Do land use controls cause sprawl? Environment and Planning B, 26, 555–571.Google Scholar
  31. Picou, J. S., Marshall, B. K., & Gill, D. A. (2004). Disaster, litigation, and the corrosive community. Social Forces, 82, 1493–1522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pred, A. (1984). Place as a historically contingent process: Structuration and the time-geography of becoming places. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 74(2), 279–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Quarantelli, E. L., & Dynes, R. R. (1977). Response to social crisis and disaster. Annual Review of Sociology, 3, 23–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Relph, E. (1976). Place and placelessness. London: Pion Limited.Google Scholar
  35. Ryden, K. C. (1993). Mapping the invisible landscape: Folklore, writing and a sense of place. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.Google Scholar
  36. Sack, R. D. (1997). Homo geographicus: A framework for action, awareness and moral concern. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Saldivar-Tanaka, L., & Krasny, M. E. (2004). Culturing community development, neighborhood open space and civic agriculture: The case of Latino community gardens in New York City. Agriculture and Human Values, 21, 399–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sideris, L. H. (2003). Environmental ethics, ecological theology, and natural selection. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Stedman, R. C. (2003a). Sense of place and forest science: Toward a program of quantitative research. Forest Science, 49(6), 1–8.Google Scholar
  40. Stedman, R. C. (2003b). Is it really just a social construction: The contribution of the physical environment to a sense of place. Society and Natural Resources, 16(8), 1–8.Google Scholar
  41. Stedman, R. C. (2008). What do we “mean” by place-meanings? Implications of place-meanings for managers and practitioners. Understanding concepts of place in recreation research and management. In T. Hall, L. E. Kruger, & M. C. Stiefel (Eds.) (General Technical Report. PNW-GTR-744 U.S). Portland: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.Google Scholar
  42. Stokowski, P. A. (2002). Languages of places and discourses of power: Constructing a new sense of place. Journal of Leisure Research, 22, 233–257.Google Scholar
  43. Thomas, A. R., & Smith, P. J. (2009). Upstate down: Thinking about New York and its discontents. Maryland: United Press of America.Google Scholar
  44. Tidball, K. G. (2010, October). Community based natural resource management in disaster relief contexts. Anthropology News.Google Scholar
  45. Tidball, K. G., & Krasny, M. E. (2007). From risk to resilience: What role for community greening and civic ecology in cities? In A. Wals (Ed.), Social learning towards and more sustainable world. Wagengingen: Wagengingen Academic Press.Google Scholar
  46. Tidball, K. G., & Krasny, M. E. (2008). “Raising” urban resilience: Community forestry and greening in cities post-disaster/conflict. In Resilience, adaptation and transformation in turbulent times, resilience alliance conference, Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
  47. Tidball, K. G., Krasny, M. E., et al. (2010). Stewardship, learning, and memory in disaster resilience. Environmental Education Research, 16(5), 341–357. Special Issue, Resilience in social-ecological systems: The Role of learning and education.Google Scholar
  48. Tuan, Y. F. (1974). Topophilia. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Tuan, Y. F. (1975). Place: An experiential perspective. Geograhical Review, 65, 151–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tuan, Y. F. (1977). Space and place: The perspectives of experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tuan, Y. F. (1980). Rootedness versus sense of place. Landscape, 24, 3–8.Google Scholar
  52. Wilkinson, K. P. (1991). The community in rural America. Middleton: Social Ecological Press.Google Scholar
  53. Wilson, E. O. (1984). Biophilia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Wilson, J. Q., & Kelling, G. L. (1982). The police and neighborhood safety: Broken windows. Atlantic Monthly, 127, 29–38.Google Scholar
  55. Winterbottom, D. (2007). Casitas, healing the wounds of displacement. Journal of Mediterranean Ecology, 8, 77–86.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural ResourcesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations