The University of Arizona

People and urban nature: the environmentalization of social movements in Bogotá

Germán A. Quimbayo Ruiz

Abstract


Using research conducted in Bogotá, Colombia, I discuss in this article how urban nature has been used as a vehicle by social movements to contest urban commons. The article explores the "environmentalization" of strategies and repertoires of social movements in urban struggles dating back to the 1980s, which developed in parallel with public urban planning debates. In recent years these were nurtured in turn by environmental discourse in a quest to change the city's growth paradigm. I suggest that the legitimacy of knowledge and law about urban nature advocacy is co-created by communities confronting institutions that are supposed to represent state power. This case study analyses conceptualizations of urban nature in and from Latin America, and shows that urban politics and environmental issues are part of a process in which political mobilization is a key element to overcome socio-ecological inequalities.

Key words: urban social movements; political ecology of urbanization; situated knowledge; socio-ecological inequalities; Latin America  


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/v25i1.23096