On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and the Politics of Occupied Land

On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and the Politics of Occupied Land[BOOKS] ✮ On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and the Politics of Occupied Land By Matt Hern – Heartforum.co.uk Parks are importantly fertile places to talk about land Whether its big national parks, provincial campgrounds, isolated conservation areas, destination parks, or humble urban patches of grass, we ten Parks are importantly fertile Patch of MOBI ð places to talk about land Whether its On This Epub / big national parks, provincial campgrounds, isolated conservation areas, destination parks, or humble This Patch of PDF ☆ urban patches of grass, we tend to speak of parks as unqualified goods People think of parks as public or common land, and it is a common belief that parks are the best uses of land are good for everyoneBut no park is innocent Parks are lionized as natural oases, and urban parks as pure nature in the midst of the city but that s absurd Parks are as natural as the roads or buildings around them, and just as political Every park in North America is performing modernity and settler colonialism everyday Further, parks are not private property, but while they are called public , they are highly regulated spaces that normatively demand and closely control behaviours Parks are a certain kind of property, and thus creations of law, and they are subject to all kinds of presumptions about what parks are for, and what kinds of people should be doing what kinds of things in them Parks as they are currently constituted are colonial enterprisesOn This Patch of Grass is an investigation into one small urban park Vancouver s Victoria Park, or Bocce Ball Park as a way to interrogate the politics of land The authors grapple with the fact that they are uninvited guests on the occupied and traditional territories of the Musqueam x m k y m , Squamish Skwxw mesh , and Tsleil Waututh s li w ta nations But Bocce Ball Park is also a wonderful place in many ways, with a startling plurality of users and sovereignties, and all kinds of overlapping activities and all kinds of overlapping people co existing or less peaceably It is a living exhibition of the possibilities of sharing land and perhaps offers some clues to a decolonial horizonThe book is a collaborative exercise between one white family and some friends looking at the park from a variety of perspectives, asking what we might say about this patch of grass, and what kinds of occupation might this place imply.

Is a well known Patch of MOBI ð author, some of his books are a On This Epub / fascination for readers like in the On This Patch of Grass: City This Patch of PDF ☆ Parks and the Politics of Occupied Land book, this is one of the most wanted Matt Hern author readers around the world.

On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and the Politics of
    On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and the Politics of goods People think of parks as public or common land, and it is a common belief that parks are the best uses of land are good for everyoneBut no park is innocent Parks are lionized as natural oases, and urban parks as pure nature in the midst of the city but that s absurd Parks are as natural as the roads or buildings around them, and just as political Every park in North America is performing modernity and settler colonialism everyday Further, parks are not private property, but while they are called public , they are highly regulated spaces that normatively demand and closely control behaviours Parks are a certain kind of property, and thus creations of law, and they are subject to all kinds of presumptions about what parks are for, and what kinds of people should be doing what kinds of things in them Parks as they are currently constituted are colonial enterprisesOn This Patch of Grass is an investigation into one small urban park Vancouver s Victoria Park, or Bocce Ball Park as a way to interrogate the politics of land The authors grapple with the fact that they are uninvited guests on the occupied and traditional territories of the Musqueam x m k y m , Squamish Skwxw mesh , and Tsleil Waututh s li w ta nations But Bocce Ball Park is also a wonderful place in many ways, with a startling plurality of users and sovereignties, and all kinds of overlapping activities and all kinds of overlapping people co existing or less peaceably It is a living exhibition of the possibilities of sharing land and perhaps offers some clues to a decolonial horizonThe book is a collaborative exercise between one white family and some friends looking at the park from a variety of perspectives, asking what we might say about this patch of grass, and what kinds of occupation might this place imply."/>
  • Paperback
  • 112 pages
  • On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and the Politics of Occupied Land
  • Matt Hern
  • 14 December 2018
  • 1773630709

10 thoughts on “On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and the Politics of Occupied Land

  1. Craig Fortier says:

    There is so much I love about this book As the afterword by Glen Coulthard suggests, non Indigenous settler folks need to do important work to break the narratives of settlement and to reflect upon the ways in which we normalize occupation even in the most innocuous places This book, centred around Victoria Park aka Bocce Ball Park in Vancouver unceded Coast Salish Territories is one such example that draws on the skills and different lenses of a family Selena, Daisy, and Sadie Couture There is so much I love about this book As the afterword by Glen Coulthard suggests, non Indigenous settler folks need to do important work to break the narratives of settlement and to reflect upon the ways in which we normalize occupation even in the most innocuous places This book, centred around Victoria Park aka Bocce Ball Park in Vancouver unceded Coast Salish Territories is one such example that draws on the skills and different lenses of a family Selena, Daisy, and Sadie Couture and Matt Hern I think it critically grapples with so many of the notions of public space as an unmitigated public good in settler colonial contexts It is part photographic essay, part political theory, part activist reflection, part urban ethnography, and a whole lot of really important conversations about what unsettling might even look like

  2. Kristine Morris says:

    Anyone involved in managing or volunteering in an urban park should read this book and seriously consider the questions that this family of co authors, Matt Hern, Selena Couture, Sadie Couture, and Daisy Couture, pose about our conceptions of parks and our relations with the land For one who recently became involved in my local park, I enjoyed the brief but thorough review of the history of the development of parks, park theory, and the politics of public space In my own local park, I am learn Anyone involved in managing or volunteering in an urban park should read this book and seriously consider the questions that this family of co authors, Matt Hern, Selena Couture, Sadie Couture, and Daisy Couture, pose about our conceptions of parks and our relations with the land For one who recently became involved in my local park, I enjoyed the brief but thorough review of the history of the development of parks, park theory, and the politics of public space In my own local park, I am learning the flashpoint issues that arise amongst various park users, and many examples in this book resonated Matt Hern makes two interesting arguments worth summarizing here 1 parks are not natural they are as natural as a paved road and are part of city shaping and formal urban planning like any other formalized urban infrastructure 2 parks are said to welcome and benefit all people, but they do not in reality decisions about parks are political and inevitably favour one group of users over another Park land is highly managed and people s behaviour in parks is also highly regulated In Toronto, this has evolved into what has been described as a culture of no and, depending on the park, could mean no drinking, no music, no busking, no feeding animals, no skateboarding, no bicycling, no selling, no picnics, no sitting on the grass, no laying down blankets, no smoking, no dogs, no sports, no guerilla gardening, no gatherings ofthan 25 people, etc These rules or bylaws are not subtle in their message there are those who are welcome and those who should just move along, preferably to the next neighbourhood The book does not talk about defensive architecture an urban design trend that tries to control behaviour and prevent crime through environmental design and the built form , but this is how these regulations manifest themselves in today s city parks built right into its infrastructure To be fair, many regulations are not about stopping people from doing these things, it is to protect the city from litigation if something should go wrong while people are doing these things.A third myth described by Matt Hern, is that all parks are good This could be true, or it could be very untrue depending on your background and lived experience The main point about the book is that city parks, whether a small urban patch of grass or a larger conservation area, are on occupied land and are in fact an embodiment of settler colonization And yet, they may well be a space where we can have a collectively work out what reconciliation looks like He writes, Decolonization of our parks is the irreplaceable and inescapable first step for talking about commonality If parks are supposed to improve us, surely that is the place to start In the book, the authors aim to confront their own colonial attitudes toward land and their relationship to their local park Hern concedes that it is a fraught process in which there are no easy conclusions It starts with asking questions The authors ask us to question our assumptions about land ownership and to envision a different way of looking at our relationship to land I have some specific questions at the most basic, who owns the land If unceded, like in Vancouver where the author lives, do the Indigenous people own it What is the contemporary relationship of Indigenous peoples to land, ownership or custodial, or something else What does it mean that settlers occupy it If on treaty land like Toronto, what does this imply In 2010, the federal government and the members of the Mississaugas of the New Credit reached a land settlement It was generally acknowledged that the sum paid was compensation and not payment for the land the value of the land included in the original Toronto Purchase would have been so astronomical to be unpayable Since this agreement did not affect any current ownership of property, what responsibility do landowners hold to the Indigenous community Is a transfer of money for compensation enough What is the next step Is the concept of private land ownership to be poked at What are the key instruments in place today that perpetuate colonial assumption of land How can we be respectful visitors to the lands we live on How do we fully share the land When it comes to parks, what rights do Indigenous peoples have to park lands amidst all the park regulations Should they have special rights, like they do fishing rights Certainly, there s work here for anyone to study and reflect The answers may not be easily forthcoming, but in the process of asking questions we open ourselves up to an alternative way of thinking of land relations and our part in perpetuating the unfair use of lands, especially those deemed as public As Daisy states in the book, non Indigenous people who live on this land cannot pretend ignorance any longer But the truth and the facts are uncomfortable and being okay with not having any answers is also an unsettling space to occupy We must be willing to accept this kind of uncertainty, as we work together to reach some sense of clarity.Matt Hern writes that the civil disobedience in parks, one of the spaces where there is an unspoken permission to act out i.e., blatantly ignore the rules and bylaws , is a small sign that we can be open alternative land relations the ongoing disobediences in the park and in almost all parks are promising they gesture towards larger possible refusals and re ordering in hopeful ways He reminds us that the development of parks as we experience them today is not that old Parks are relatively recent inventions, and we don t have to be trapped into a calcified and colonial rendition of what they might be This idea is a good starting point It provides a way to create some distance us and what can be some strong entrenched points of view to land ownership This we can make space for

  3. Jessica says:

    Privileged to have received an advance copy of this book Keep an eye out for my review in Briarpatch Magazine in 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *