Blog
About

  • Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Article: found
Is Open Access

Not in my City: Rural America as Urban Dumping Ground

Architecture_MPS

UCL Press

Read this article at

Bookmark
      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

      Abstract

      The ideological divide between “urban” and “rural” is deeply rooted in the American consciousness, fraught with tensions stemming from false memories of a pastoral past on the one hand and the American yearning for progress as exemplified by the industry of the city on the other. These tensions have figured prominently in design discourse, from Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City to Patrick Geddes Rural-to-Urban Transect and Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature. Over the last twenty years, however, rural issues have been wholly overshadowed by design’s fixation on urbanization. Though urban design and planning are well established subdisciplines of the design professions, rural issues receive limited pedagogical or practical emphasis. Across design disciplines, the contemporary city is touted as the key to technological, economic and cultural innovation while rural decline is accepted as inevitable, if not necessary.This resignation to the eventuality of rural decline has facilitated an exploitative relationship between urban hubs and their rural hinterlands. Rural America —which encompasses roughly seventy-two percent of the nation's landmass—has seen slower population growth for a decade as more young people move to urban and suburban areas for jobs and aging retirees seek out more densely populated places to live. The 2010 census revealed that nonmetropolitan counties officially lost population for the first time. The economic landscape of rural America is also in a state of flux. Rural areas have traditionally relied upon resource-extractive industries, such as agriculture, forestry and energy production. However, technological advances, outsourcing, and the decline of manufacturing have forced rural communities to reevaluate their local economies. Declining populations coupled with limited economic opportunities characterize a number of rural communities across the United States. Looking for stable economic investments, policy makers and officials in rural areas across the country actively court landfills, prisons, and meat production and processing facilities in hopes of creating new jobs and generating revenue for towns in need of economic revitalization.In the United States, Locally Undesirable Land Uses (LULUs) are increasingly being pushed out of cities and into rural areas. Though most city dwellers would agree that LULUs like power plants, factories, and hazardous waste storage facilities are necessary, most would prefer not to live near them. Though LULUs may offer significant benefits to society at large, they do so at the expense of neighboring communities. The siting of such unsavory land uses also typically exploits disadvantaged and unempowered populations and makes the rural-dumping ground paradigm particularly problematic. While the economic benefits of LULUs are largely unproven, the negative environmental and social consequences can be wide ranging. Landfills and livestock operations, for example, pollute land, air, and water resources, negatively impacting biodiversity and public health. As an out-of-sight-out-of-mind strategy, the geographic displacement of these ecologically and socially damaging systems enables relocation over reformation. By analyzing the geography and design of three of the most significant LULUs, meat production and processing facilities, landfills, and prison complexes, this study seeks to illuminate the extent to which unwanted urban land uses are impacting rural areas today.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 17

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: not found
      • Article: not found

      “A Social History of the Slaughterhouse: From Inception to Contemporary Implications”

        Bookmark
        • Record: found
        • Abstract: not found
        • Article: not found

        “Building Prisons, Building Poverty: Prison Sitings, Dispossession, and Mass Incarceration”

          Bookmark
          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          “Recollecting the Slaughterhouse”

            Bookmark

            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, Louisiana State University, USA
            Journal
            Amps
            Architecture_MPS
            UCL Press
            2050-9006
            December 2014
            : 6
            : 1
            10.14324/111.444.amps.2014v6i2.001
            Copyright © 2014 The Author(s)

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

            Counts
            Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 36, Pages: 21

            Comments

            Comment on this article