Political Regions, Human Landscapes: A divide between political policies and human meanings and practices?
2014 (English)In: AAG – Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida. 8th - 12th of April 2014., 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Since the 1990s and the headways of neoliberalism, the city is seen as the agent of creativity and innovation. In Sweden, the devolution of state power to the regional and city-level has implied enhanced focus on the city as the ideal entity for planning. These neoliberal policies have also led to increased urban and rural gentrification, and as a result widening gaps both within and between cities, regions and rural areas. At the same time wider neoliberal discourses and urban as well as regional policies promote city-regions, leading to the marginalization of rural areas in both policy and planning. Within policy circles, the countryside is seen mainly as an arena and resource for leisure and tourism, reinforcing images of rural areas as incidental or ancillary spaces. However we argue that humans are not passive receivers of policies about what constitutes the good life. Humans are landscapers in both an individual and collective sense. We experience and shape the world through the embodiment of practices and meanings constituted relationally with both other humans as well as the more-than-human world. The article discusses the gaps between current ideals of city and regional planning and the more-than-representational landscapes in the life and dwelling of human beings. We argue that regional and national Swedish polices are contested, especially in relation to notions of what constitutes the good life in rural areas.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34709OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34709DiVA: diva2:768433
AAG – Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida. 8th - 12th of April 2014. Session: Reanimating Region