Beyond Rhetoric: Towards a Framework for an Applied Historical Ecology of Urban Planning

Author(s): Sinclair, P., S. Barthel, C. Isendahl.
In: C. Isendahl, D. Stump (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology. Oxford Handbooks Online. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199672691.013.34 pp. 1 – 12.
Year: 2016
Type: Book chapter
Theme affiliation: Urban
Link to centre authors: Barthel, Stephan
Full reference: Sinclair, P., S. Barthel, C. Isendahl. 2016. Beyond rhetoric: Towards a framework for an applied historical ecology of urban planning. In C. Isendahl, D. Stump (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology. Oxford Handbooks Online. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199672691.013.34 pp. 1 – 12.

Summary

Historical ecological approaches to settlement aggregation and complexity reject modernist and post-modernist reliance on linear neo-evolutionary categorization of cities in relation to earlier farming communities. Instead, urban centres and multi-urban systems are viewed as components of complex heterarchically and hierarchically organized landscapes. Resilience theory has been applied in several archaeological efforts to characterize urban development of specific centres. Building on experience from the recently concluded Urban Mind project this chapter argues for a historical ecology approach to track the long-term cultural and environmental dynamics of multi-centred urban systems. Linking human cognition, social memory, ecosystem services, urban metabolism and food security, and institutions of urban governance, it uses data on long-term urban histories in the eastern Mediterranean, southern Africa, and Mesoamerica to identify implications for future urban planning initiatives.

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