The politics of the urban green: Class, morality and attachments to place

Troels Krarup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Local urban greenspaces connect issues close to everyday life, such as recreational value, attachment to place and civic engagements, with broader questions of city planning, economy, climate change and social class. Responding to recent warnings against reductionism in critical studies of cities’ new claims to sustainability, the article mobilizes the recent ‘moral turn’ in the Bourdieusian literature on classed politics to explore these interlacing layers and themes in the politics of the urban green and to relate them to broader sociological questions about morality and politics. Based on a national survey among urban dwellers in Denmark designed specifically for this purpose, the analysis reveals a space of local urban greenspaces issues in two dimensions contrasting, respectively, (a) concerns for nature versus economy and (b) preference for planning versus grassroots modes of governance. Further analysis reveals a homology with social class and with more abstract political attitudes on how to square environmental and economic sustainability. However, the space of issues also displays traits unique to local urban greenspaces, while different positions in the space correlate with different combinations of personal attachment and civic engagement. In mapping the politics of the urban green along these lines, the article suggests new analytical avenues for moral-political sociology more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Review
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1119-1140
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • civic engagements
  • place attachment
  • political space
  • social class
  • urban greenspaces


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