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Right to the City/Right to Landscape

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From an Elitist to a More Just Urban Landscape in California's East Bay Area

A talk by Don Mitchell, Professor of Geography, Syracuse University. Recorded in Toronto, 9 July 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxI8dye_GO0

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Right to the City/Right to Landscape

  1. 1. The Right to the City/The Right to Landscape: From an Elitist to a More Just Urban Landscape in California’s East Bay Don Mitchell Department of Geography Syracuse University
  2. 2. MoragaOaklandSan Francisco Me, landscaping Moraga, 1965
  3. 3. Such places “evoke a never-never land of Spanish California arcadia, a dreamy suggestion of whitewashed missions set against rolling hills, their red-tiled roofs glowing carmine in the sunset” (Kevin Starr, 1985, 191).
  4. 4. Political Ecology: “the development of regional or spatial accounts of degradation that link, through ‘chains of explanation’, local decision-makers to spatial variations in environmental structure” (Dictionary of Human Geography, 3rd ed., p. 546)
  5. 5. Political Ecology: “the development of regional or spatial accounts of degradation that link, through ‘chains of explanation’, local decision-makers to spatial variations in environmental structure” (Dictionary of Human Geography, 3rd ed., p. 546)
  6. 6. Political Ecology: “the development of regional or spatial accounts of degradation that link, through ‘chains of explanation’, local decision-makers to spatial variations in environmental structure” (Dictionary of Human Geography, 3rd ed., p. 546)
  7. 7. Such places “evoke a never-never land of Spanish California arcadia, a dreamy suggestion of whitewashed missions set against rolling hills, their red-tiled roofs glowing carmine in the sunset” (Kevin Starr, 1985, 191).
  8. 8. The Hacienda is representative of the Californios, the “Spanish Dons of whom one reads so much in the … numerous historical romances of the period” (Carey McWilliams, 1946, 51).
  9. 9. Russell Bruzzone
  10. 10. More condominiums “might work for Berkeley, but would be a disaster for Moraga” (2008 campaign against open space law extension)
  11. 11. More condominiums “might work for Berkeley, but would be a disaster for Moraga” (2008 campaign against open space law extension) Lower income housing would “drastically change Moraga’s unique family-oriented character forever” (2008 campaign against open space law extension)
  12. 12. Moraga 2010 Population = 16016 1.7% Black 0.2% Native American 0.2% Pacific Islander 1.8% “Some other race” 5.0% Two or more races 14.9% Asian 76.2% White (7% Hispanic) 2006-2009/10 95.9% in Management, service … jobs $147,000 Median family Income $995,000 Median house value 2000 81.1% White 93.7% in Management, service … jobs $116,000 Median family income $538,500 Median house value 1990 89% White USA 13% Black 5% Asian 72% White $51,914 Median household income $188,500 Median house value 75% White, 12.3% Black, 3.6% Asian
  13. 13. Moraga 2010 Population = 16015 1.7% Black 0.2% Native American 0.2% Pacific Islander 1.8% “Some other race” 5.0% Two or more races 14.9% Asian 76.2% White (7% Hispanic) 2006-2009/10 95.9% in Management, service … jobs $147,000 Median family Income $995,000 Median house value 2000 81.1% White 93.7% in Management, service … jobs $116,000 Median family income $538,500 Median house value 2.9% Below poverty line 1990 89% White Oakland 28% Black 16.8% Asian 34.5% White (25.4% Hispanic) 2008-20012 $51,683 Median household income $449,800 Median house value 20.3% Below poverty line 31.3% White, 35.7% Black, 15.2% Asian (21.9% Hispanic) $40,055 Median household income $235,500 Median house value 19.4% Below poverty line
  14. 14. MoragaOaklandSan Francisco
  15. 15. “The federal government dramatically democratized the housing market while simultaneously enforcing racial segregation that resembled apartheid.” The federal government itself “created the machinery through which housing discrimination operates.” (Robert Self, American Babylon, 2003, 97)
  16. 16. In 1964 San Leandro voted 80% in favor of Proposition 14
  17. 17. In 1964 San Leandro voted 80% in favor of Proposition 14 Proposition 14 was “the first evidence of an emerging white political backlash against the civil rights movement in California” (Self 2003, 167)
  18. 18. In 1964 San Leandro voted 80% in favor of Proposition 14 Other bayside suburbs voted in favor with percentages ranging from 67-73% Proposition 14 was “the first evidence of an emerging white political backlash against the civil rights movement in California” (Self 2003, 167)
  19. 19. In 1964 San Leandro voted 80% in favor of Proposition 14 Other bayside suburbs voted in favor with percentages ranging from 67-73% East Oakland voted 92% “No” Proposition 14 was “the first evidence of an emerging white political backlash against the civil rights movement in California” (Self 2003, 167)
  20. 20. Moraga, 1964
  21. 21. Moraga, 1964
  22. 22. “After decades of lobbying both state and federal governments against fair housing, and decades of promoting segregation in local communities, representatives of the real estate industry then claimed they were merely looking out for the ‘rights’ of their constituents and were innocent of any complicity in discrimination. The purposeful deception underscored the lengths to which industry representatives would go to preserve their control over one of the most lucrative real estate markets in the country” (Self 2003, 265)
  23. 23. MoragaOaklandSan Francisco
  24. 24. MoragaOaklandSan Francisco Richmond
  25. 25. How have some – whites – “distanced themselves from both industrial pollution and nonwhites?” (Laura Pulido, 2000, 14).
  26. 26. Such places “evoke a never-never land of Spanish California arcadia, a dreamy suggestion of whitewashed missions set against rolling hills, their red-tiled roofs glowing carmine in the sunset” (Kevin Starr, 1985, 191).
  27. 27. Such never-never lands only exist because they are part of a history of conquest and globalization
  28. 28. Such degraded landscapes only exist because they are part of a history of conquest and globalization
  29. 29. “All political ecologists set themselves two primary goals: to account for the production of nature and environment, and to understand the ways in which (produced) natures and environments help shape social relations” (Geoff Mann, 2009, 336, citing Robbins 2004)
  30. 30. “All political ecologists set themselves two primary goals: to account for the production of nature and environment, and to understand the ways in which (produced) natures and environments help shape social relations” (Geoff Mann, 2009, 336, citing Robbins 2004)
  31. 31. “All political ecologists set themselves two primary goals: to account for the production of nature and environment, and to understand the ways in which (produced) natures and environments help shape social relations” (Geoff Mann, 2009, 336, citing Robbins 2004)
  32. 32. Oakland Moraga
  33. 33. Political ecology is motivated “primarily (but not exclusively) [by a] social justice project” (Mann 2009, 337)
  34. 34. A landscape is “an area, as perceived by people whose character is the result of action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (European Landscape Convention)
  35. 35. A landscape is “an area, as perceived by people whose character is the result of action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (European Landscape Convention) States are obliged “to recognize landscapes in law as an essential component of people’s surroundings” and identities; “establish and implement policies aimed at landscape protection, management and planning; create procedures for public participation in management and preservation; and “integrate landscape into … regional and town planning policies” as well as policies covering other practices that might affect the landscape” (Déjeant-Pons 2006, 370).
  36. 36. A landscape is “an area, as perceived by people whose character is the result of action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (European Landscape Convention) States are obliged “to recognize landscapes in law as an essential component of people’s surroundings” and identities; “establish and implement policies aimed at landscape protection, management and planning; create procedures for public participation in management and preservation; and “integrate landscape into … regional and town planning policies” as well as policies covering other practices that might affect the landscape” (Déjeant-Pons 2006, 370).
  37. 37. A landscape is “an area, as perceived by people whose character is the result of action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (European Landscape Convention) States are obliged “to recognize landscapes in law as an essential component of people’s surroundings” and identities; “establish and implement policies aimed at landscape protection, management and planning; create procedures for public participation in management and preservation; and “integrate landscape into … regional and town planning policies” as well as policies covering other practices that might affect the landscape” (Déjeant-Pons 2006, 370).

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