Negotiating Green Space for Capital Accumulation: The Case of North Port Quay
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With ecological threats being used to legitimize the introduction of radical forms of property development, it is important to understand their discursive operation. An analysis of media texts, meetings and places around the North Port Quay “sustainable development” project – proposed by a consortium of property developers for a 345-hectare seabed site off the coast of Fremantle in Western Australia – found that global ecological threats were read by local citizens in heterogeneous ways influenced by their sensual experience of space. Attempts to legitimize North Port Quay through representation of scientifically-demonstrable future phenomena threatening the world were not rejected by engaged citizens but, rather, reinscribed as development threats to sensually experienced objects such as “our beaches”. These citizens responded conservatively and antagonistically when they felt that “our beaches” and other objects of affective investment were being threatened. Their desire to restore experience of such objects served to unify a popular movement that prevented North Port Quay through localized practices of institutional democracy. This study suggests that attempts to shift local planning decisions to regional decision-making bodies in the name of solving global ecological threats should be resisted because of the open meaning of these threats and their relation to sensually experienced objects of local environments; which, when threatened, produce powerful antagonisms.
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Kerr, Thor (2013)A consortium of property developers set out to occupy 345 hectares of sea bed near Fremantle Port by claiming that their project, North Port Quay, would demonstrate that the community of Western Australia could ‘lead the ...
Kerr, Thor (2015)This paper is directed at furthering understandings of the function of space, time and sensory experience in environmental discourse. It does this through an empirical study of the publicity campaigns and counter-campaigns ...
Kerr, Thor Antony (2012)Amid a prevalence of textual references about human-induced ecological threats in contemporary society, several studies have investigated the discursive production of such threats and their solutions by policy-making ...