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A Forest for Each City and Town: Story Lines in the Policy Debate for Urban Forests in Flanders

Ann Van Herzele
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Ann Van Herzele: Department of Human Ecology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Free University Brussels, Laarbeeklaan 103, B-1090 Brussels, Belgium,

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 3, 673-696

Abstract: This paper aims to explain how a forest-sector-based discourse-each city should have its own forest-could gain prominence in current land use debates and even come to produce a new set of spatial practices for shaping the rural-urban interface. To this end, the focus was on the genealogy of discourse-actor relationships over recent decades, including the 'translation' of discourse into various (non)-discursive forms. The genealogical discourse approach has enabled not only the taking of a novel perspective on contemporary policies and practices of urban forest planning, but importantly, the addition of some insights into the constitutive role of discourse. In particular, the paper questions what makes a story line effective (or not) in carrying forward a strategic idea along the various trajectories from concepts and ideas to actual implementation that are constitutive of a long-term policy process.

Date: 2006
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