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FT-52796-04

Matthew Klingle
Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME 04011-8447)
Urban by Nature: Seattle and the Making of the Modern American Environmental Metropolis

"Urban by Nature" combines environmental, social, and cultural history to analyze why Americans see cities and nature in conflict. Contrary to current attitudes, 19th century Americans considered urbanization as a process for improving nature. Trained experts, from engineers to landscape architects, believed that finishing nature through public works projects released its regenerative properties to advance reform. As a result, they created an "environmental metropolis," a fusion of artifice and nature that could be manipulated to produce both consumer goods and civic unity. But while these changes benefited some, they also spawned ecological instability and social inequality, events that split nature and cities in the minds of postwar Americans.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 7/31/2004