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Landscape of Discontent

Urban Sustainability in Immigrant Paris

2015
Author:

Andrew Newman

Landscape of Discontent

Understanding the interplay of urban green politics and neighborhood activism

In Landscape of Discontent Andrew Newman draws extensively from immersive, firsthand ethnographic research, as well as an analysis of green architecture and urban design to argue that environmental politics must be separated from the construct of urban sustainability, which has been appropriated by forces of redevelopment and gentrification.

From Haussmann to Charlie Hebdo, Paris has always demanded our attention. Efforts to vigilantly reimagine the city and its inhabitants remain one of the most important tasks in this urban century, and Andrew Newman’s Landscape of Discontent provides masterful insights into what urban nature has been and can be.

Nik Heynen, University of Georgia

On a rainy day in May 2007, the mayor of Paris inaugurated the Jardins d’Éole, a park whose completion was hailed internationally as an exemplar of sustainable urbanism. The park was the result of a hard-fought, decadelong protest movement in a low-income Maghrebi and African immigrant district starved for infrastructure, but the mayor’s vision of urban sustainability was met with jeers.

Drawing extensively from immersive, firsthand ethnographic research with northeast Paris residents, as well as an analysis of green architecture and urban design, Andrew Newman argues that environmental politics must be separated from the construct of urban sustainability, which has been appropriated by forces of redevelopment and gentrification in Paris and beyond. France’s turbulent political environment provides Newman with insights into the ways in which multiethnic coalitions can emerge⎯even amid overt racism and Islamophobia⎯in the struggle for more just cities and more inclusive societies.

A tale of multidimensional political efforts, Landscape of Discontent cuts through the rhetoric of green cities to reveal the promise that environmentalism holds for urban communities everywhere.

Landscape of Discontent

Andrew Newman is assistant professor of anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Landscape of Discontent

From Haussmann to Charlie Hebdo, Paris has always demanded our attention. Efforts to vigilantly reimagine the city and its inhabitants remain one of the most important tasks in this urban century, and Andrew Newman’s Landscape of Discontent provides masterful insights into what urban nature has been and can be.

Nik Heynen, University of Georgia

Andrew Newman has crafted a dynamic account of how local residents and activists can transform a social and physical urban environment by drawing in the very political forces—including city planners—that imagine themselves as the true shapers of that reality.

Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

This is a fantastic book that should be required reading for anyone invested in debates on the right to the city, urban political ecology, and the cultural politics of belonging in contemporary France.

Antipode

An important contribution to a small, but growing body of Anglophone literature on housing and the built environment in late twentieth-century France.

H-France Review

Landscape of Discontent

Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction
1. Poets and Locomotives: Ecology and Politics on the Margins of Paris
2. Space, Style, and Grassroots Strategy in the Éole Mobilization
3. Cultivating the Republic? Parks, Gardens, and Youth
4. The End(s) of Urban Ecology in the Global City
5. To Watch and Be Watched: Urban Design, Vigilance, and Contested Streets
6. The Political Life of Small Urban Spaces
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index