Of good plants and useless weeds: planning as a spatial technology of the gardening state

Kamete, A. Y. (2018) Of good plants and useless weeds: planning as a spatial technology of the gardening state. Planning Theory, 17(2), pp. 253-273. (doi:10.1177/1473095217701514)

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Abstract

The article deploys Bauman’s metaphor of the ‘gardening’ state to consider the imbrication of planning and the dark side of modernity. It interrogates the public production and defence of urban spaces suitable for people deemed to have value. Using empirical material from urban Zimbabwe, I frame planning as a spatial technology of the gardening state and peer into its handling of informality under two main themes: first, the perception, construction and designation of ‘weeds’, and second, the declaration and treatment of the ‘weeds’. Situating Bauman’s metaphor in the nexus between planning, the state and informality, I conclude that the metaphor paints a helpful but inadequate picture. I argue that while the metaphor is helpful with regards to the first theme, refinements are needed in its application to the second. Rather than see planning enforcement as a rational-scientific practice, a nuanced conceptualisation is needed that explicitly acknowledges the messy business of politics.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamete, Dr Amini
Authors: Kamete, A. Y.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Planning Theory
Publisher:SAGE
ISSN:1473-0952
ISSN (Online):1741-3052
Published Online:10 April 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
First Published:First published in Planning Theory 17(2):253-273
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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