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Research article2008

Contested construction of nature for city fringe outdoor recreation in southern Sweden: The Arrie case

Jensen, Ebba Lisberg; Ouis, Pernilla


This article deals with the process of change from industrial land to recreational area on a 60 ha piece of land 12 km southeast of Malmö, southern Sweden, called Lake Arrie. The area is an abandoned gravel quarry in the midst of an agricultural landscape. We present a short background and the current situation in Arrie, setting out to capture the tendencies of the contemporary construction of nature for outdoor recreation. We then move on to discuss the salutogenic aspects of outdoor recreation, and how these can be traced in the actual landscape at Arrie. Furthermore, we open the discussion on diversity as a cherished post-modern ideal both in nature and culture. Different interests and ideologies may cause conflicts in the planning process. To capture the multitude of voices emanating among stakeholders, the process to extract local opinions through participatory processes is presented. The social and political categorisation of an area reflects the needs of a changing society. In the early industrial era, the area was an enclave of industrial ground in a completely rural setting. In the post-industrial era, it turned into a ‘wasteland’, open for nature to recolonise. This type of landscape is difficult to categorise, being an ‘inbetween-land’, neither nature nor culture, perceived as ephemeral and inferior. At the same time, the city sprawled closer, with the semi-urban populations’ need for outdoor recreation. In future, the former industrial ground will be perceived as an enclave of nature in an urban setting. When the former products of the area responded to the industrial need for gravel and limestone, the contemporary ‘products’ respond to emotional needs

Published in

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
2008, Volume: 4, number: 7, pages: 171-182
Publisher: Elsevier

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Swedish Biodiversity Centre

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