Definitions

foundational

Foundational story

Foundational stories are accounts of the development of cities. A foundational story represents the view that the creation of the city is a human achievement. Human control and the removal of wild, uncontrolled nature is underlined. There are two versions of foundational stories: civilization story and degradation story.

Civilization stories take a view of nature as dangerous and wild. The development of the city is seen as a successful distancing of humans from nature. Nature is locked out, and humans take pride in doing so successfully. In 1984 the geographer Tuan suggested ranking cities according to their distance to natural rhythms and cycles.

Degradation stories (also called pollution stories) take a different stance. The city is seen as spoiling the landscape of the ecological relations that existed before the city was established. There is a sense of guilt for degrading the intact system of nature. In degradation stories true nature only exists outside the city.

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