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Seminar: "We are the green capital", by Julia Neidig

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Event details

Julia Neidig, PhD candidate at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3) and ICTA-UAB will give an online seminar.


Seminar: "We are the green capital. Navigating the political and sustainability fixes of urban greening"

Speaker: Julia Neidig, PhD candidate at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3) and ICTA-UAB.

Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Time: 12 - 1:30pm CEST
Location: online. Registration here

With increasing attention on green(ing) cities in urban planning theory and practice, urban nature is used to increase liveability, to create new sectors such as tourism, and to boost international investment. What counts hereby as desirable green intervention generally follows internationally accepted practices and discourses that emphasize the economic, health, and ecological benefits of nature building upon a universal social imaginary portraying urban greenery as a hegemonic “one-size-fits-all” approach across diverse urban contexts. Yet, urban residents are diverse and so are their multiple and often context-depended forms of socio-nature that reach beyond the institutional approach of framing urban greening as instrumental and beneficial to all residents. Drawing on fieldwork in the mid-sized city Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country, Spain), the 2012 European Green Capital, I first show how an urban green identity has historically and institutionally been produced in local politics over a period of forty years. Here, the initially perceived social green amenity - an outcome of early progressive urban democratic experimentation - that served as a unifying project across polarized political fractions turned into an economic cultural asset for economic growth, shifting from a political to a sustainability fix. Second, I present results from a Q-methodological approach examining the multiple forms urban residents value and relate to urban greenery and beyond by exemplifying four, partly contradictory, perspectives of urban socio-natures and their implications of planning re-naturing programs.

Researcher description
Julia Neidig is a PhD candidate at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3) and ICTA-UAB. Her research looks at narratives and values surrounding urban greening interventions, both on the political and societal level, working at the intersection of urban geography, political ecology, and urban planning. Focusing on the case city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, she is especially interested in the ways citizens can be involved in planning, through co-producing new green narratives beyond mainstream framings. Julia holds a M.Sc. in Global Studies from Gothenburg University and a B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of Münster.

About the BCNUEJ Seminar Series
Launched in October 2020, the BCNUEJ Seminar Series aims to provide PhD students the opportunity to present their work while also providing a forum for discussion on environmental justice and sustainability topics. Each seminar is free and open to the public, with the goal of appealing to our broader ICTA communities and beyond. Seminars are held every three weeks and also feature guest speakers from outside our institutions. To enable colleagues from other countries to participate, most seminars are hybrid events.