Restored Nature, Familiar Culture: Contesting Visions for Preferred Environments in Australian Cities

David S. Trigger, Lesley Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

How are preferences for "native" and "introduced" species of plants and animals given expression in Australian cities? Given the nation's predominantly European cultural heritage, how do urban Australians articulate multiple desires for living environments encountered in everyday life? In examining the cases of inner city parks, backyards, and more general views about flora and fauna appropriate for the city, the paper considers a range of deeply enculturated attachments to familiar landscapes. While residents have considerable interest in the possibilities of urban ecological restoration, our interviews, ethnographic observation, and textual analysis also reveal cultural preferences for introduced species and emplaced attachments to historically modified landscapes. These preferences and attachments are linked to senses of identity developed during formative life experiences. In the relatively young post-settler society of Australia, such drivers of environmental desires can sit uneasily alongside science-driven propositions about what is good for biodiversity and ecological sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-250
Number of pages20
JournalNature and Culture
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

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