Environmental City: People, Place, Politics, and the Meaning of Modern Austin

Paperback | May 1, 2011

byWilliam Scott Jr. Swearingen

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As Austin grew from a college and government town of the 1950s into the sprawling city of 2010, two ideas of Austin as a place came into conflict. Many who promoted the ideology of growth believed Austin would be defined by economic output, money, and wealth. But many others thought Austin was instead defined by its quality of life. Because the natural environment contributed so much to Austin's quality of life, a social movement that wanted to preserve the city's environment became the leading edge of a larger movement that wanted to retain a unique sense of place. The "environmental movement" in Austin became the political and symbolic arm of the more general movement for place.

This is a history of the environmental movement in Austin—how it began; what it did; and how it promoted ideas about the relationships between people, cities, and the environment. It is also about a deeper movement to retain a sense of place that is Austin, and how that deeper movement continues to shape the way Austin is built today. The city it helped to create is now on the forefront of national efforts to rethink how we build our cities, reduce global warming, and find ways that humans and the environment can coexist in a big city.

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As Austin grew from a college and government town of the 1950s into the sprawling city of 2010, two ideas of Austin as a place came into conflict. Many who promoted the ideology of growth believed Austin would be defined by economic output, money, and wealth. But many others thought Austin was instead defined by its quality of life. Be...

WILLIAM SCOTT SWEARINGEN, JR., teaches Environmental Science and Policy, Urban Sociology, and Environmental Sociology at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He has been involved in the environmental movement in Austin for two decades.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:295 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:May 1, 2011Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292722028

ISBN - 13:9780292722026

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction. The Environmental Meaning of AustinPart One. People, Land, and PlaceChapter 1. The Theory behind the ConnectionsPart Two. The Landscape EmergesChapter 2. The Landscape EmergesChapter 3. Institutionalizing Environmental Concerns: City Government and City PoliticsPart Three. The Environmental Meaning of AustinChapter 4. Of Neighborhoods and Environment: Contesting the Growth MachineChapter 5. The Environmental Meaning as Banner: The Save Our Springs Coalition and the Green MachinePart Four. The Environmental CityChapter 6. The Environmental CityChapter 7. The Doing of It: Continuing the Environmental MeaningMethodological AppendixNotesIndex