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Green Lungs and Green Liberty: The Modern City Park and Public Health in an Urban Metabolic Landscape

Jones, Karen R (2022) Green Lungs and Green Liberty: The Modern City Park and Public Health in an Urban Metabolic Landscape. Social History of Medicine, . Article Number hkac055. ISSN 0951-631X. (doi:10.1093/shm/hkac055) (KAR id:96742)

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Abstract

This paper explores processes of urban park creation from the mid-1800s to show how ‘green lungs’ and ‘green liberty’ shaped the health geography of the modern city. Tracking this story across a transatlantic canvas (using examples from London, Paris, New York and Montreal), it looks at how ideas around fresh air, exercise and greenery sat within municipal designs for a functional metabolic landscape, what I call somatic urbanism. Plotting the historical contours of the park as a landscape of health has two main uses. Firstly, it usefully connects the worlds of medicine and environment to show how debates about industrialism, modernity, sanitation and social reform found common ground. Secondly, in a contemporary world where ventilation issues have been highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic and municipal authorities grapple with anthropogenic challenges, it argues that historical studies of health and environment assume a vital importance in shaping the future of sustainable cities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/shm/hkac055
Uncontrolled keywords: park, urban, environment, health, city
Subjects: D History General and Old World
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DC France
E History America
E History America > E151 United States (General)
F History United States, Canada, Latin America
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1001 Canada (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Funders: Wellcome Trust (https://ror.org/029chgv08)
Depositing User: Karen Jones
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2022 10:05 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2022 14:48 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/96742 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Jones, Karen R: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4787-6830
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