University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography > The politics of urban space: building parks in Savannah, Atlanta and Nashville, 1850-1915

The politics of urban space: building parks in Savannah, Atlanta and Nashville, 1850-1915

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From the mid-nineteenth century, the construction of parks was promoted as a means to alleviate the problems of disease, crime and immorality that beset the American city, to improve its appearance and increase property values; that the South engaged later and more modestly in this movement has been taken as evidence of a broader lack of interest in reforming the city. This paper examines the development of park systems in three southern cities, arguing that it was the structures of municipal government – and particularly, the powers wielded by the park commission – rather than the extent to which citizens and authorities subscribed to the ideals of the park movement, that determined the effectiveness with which they provided for the recreation of their citizens.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography series.

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