• Lewis Mumford, Civic Environmentalism and Ecological Regionalism

    Peter Critchley (see profile)
    Area studies, Urban ecology (Sociology), City planning, Cities and towns--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    civic environmentalism, Lewis Mumford, the city, Environment, Environmental humanities, Regional studies, Urban ecology, Urbanism/urban planning, Urban studies
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    In this book I shall develop the urban regional thought of Lewis Mumford in terms of a civic environmentalism concerned with the achievement of a public life fitted to the contours of an ecological civilization. I shall examine Mumford’s conception of ecological regionalism, democratic planning and the regional garden city as giving us both the ideal of a decentralized, balanced and humanly-scaled eco-public, and the means to achieve it. I shall show how Mumford sought to reconstruct public community aesthetically, politically and ecologically, integrating the urban and rural environments in the process. Defining Mumford’s view in terms of civic environmentalism, I connect the task of ecological restoration and preservation to a reinvigorated public life constituted by a democratic pluralism and civic mindedness. I will argue that the writings of Lewis Mumford on the garden city and regional planning suggest a conception of Ecopolis sustained by a vision of civic environmentalism. I will show how Mumford developed a planning intervention that not only countered the destructive consequences of over-urbanization but served also strengthen the civic capacity of the community and infuse political culture with an active democratic content. Mumford’s ecological regionalism combines planning, design and a biocentric understanding of natural processes within a politically grounded and civic-minded environmentalism. His work expresses a commitment to restore the health of democratic public life in the process of tackling the problems of urban life. I will therefore develop Mumford’s idea of regional planning and ecological regionalism in terms of a political or civic concern with environmentalism, in the process lifting the question of the human relation to nature out of academic confines and locating it in the public realm. In fine. Mumford envisions an Ecopolis constituted and sustained by a civic environmentalism.
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    6 years ago
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