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Landscaping, ANT and (in)visible geographies
2006 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

Anthropocentric perspectives on planning, society, space, and the world that build on the assumption that humans as the only actors in the world are partial and flawed. The environmental pollution in the wake of the railway tunnel project at Hallandsås in 1997, in south of Sweden, is an apt reminder of the disastrous consequences of anthropocentric perspectives in planning.



Human life is highly dependent on non-human actors not least of which are 'nature' and 'technology'. To include more actors in planning or modelling there is a need for radical shift in perspective from conventional and humanist theories of planning. We need to change our ways of planning due to this - that goes beyond dualisms and that is centred on the relations between different actors (humans and non-humans) and make these geographies visible. Maybe it is time to plan with this fluid nature rather than against it.



For example: Who doesn't think that water is a necessary and beautiful component of environment? Most of us probably do. In Sweden there is often abundant freshwater and we often take freshwater for granted. In late 1997 the people at the Hallandsås ridge were rudely awaken to the contrary. In the construction of a railway tunnel the ridge was drained of water and the people living on the ridge found out that their wells had dried up. The chemical Rhoca Gil was used to stop the drainage but spread through leakage to nearby waters, killing cattle and devastating crops. So, even if we think, and value water in our environment as something taken for granted, this does not mean that it is always considered in planning and landscaping. For instance, coasts are normally conceived of as vertical boundaries between a body of water and land as in a map. Actually, the coastal boundary is much more fluid, with the water penetrating horizontally under the land, rising occasionally to the surface when the rainfall rises. By the same token, the land lies horizontally on underground water bodies, which rise to the surface during periods of drought. Hallandsås thus has, not an only a visible, but also an invisible underground 'coast' which planners have either ignored, or treated as a fixed 'natural' boundary, much as above water costs tend to be treated this way. This boundary is fluid as well, as fluid as the supposedly fixed boundaries between humans and nature. Moreover, this boundary cannot hold back underground coasts or decide how the water should flow.



The purpose of this paper is to discuss different ways of thinking about nature, water, landscape and boundaries and not start from pre-given categories. I get my inspiration from ANT and Hybrid Geographies and would like to discuss the concept of landscape in the light of a more than human world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006.
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-20980OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-20980DiVA, id: diva2:594650
Conference
Tides of Change - a workshop on past, present and future enactments of the coast as boundary. May 18- 21th, 2006
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21

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Frisk, Maria

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  • apa
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