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Megapolitan Political Ecology and Urban Metabolism in Southern Appalachia

Gustafson, JS; Heynen, N; Rice, JL; Gragson, T; Shepherd, JM; Strother, C; (2014) Megapolitan Political Ecology and Urban Metabolism in Southern Appalachia. The Professional Geographer , 66 (4) pp. 664-675. 10.1080/00330124.2014.905158. Green open access

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Abstract

Drawing on megapolitan geographies, urban political ecology, and urban metabolism as theoretical frameworks, this article theoretically and empirically explores megapolitan political ecology. First, we elucidate a theoretical framework in the context of southern Appalachia and, in particular, the Piedmont megapolitan region, suggesting that the megapolitan region is a useful scale through which to understand urban metabolic connections that constitute this rapidly urbanizing area. We also push the environmental history and geography literature of the U.S. South and southern Appalachia to consider the central role urban metabolic connections play in the region's pressing social and environmental crises. Second, we empirically illuminate these human and nonhuman urban metabolisms across the Piedmont megapolitan region using data from the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, especially highlighting a growing “ring of asphalt” that epitomizes several developing changes to patterns of metabolism. The conclusion suggests that changing urban metabolisms indicated by Coweeta LTER data, ranging from flows of people to flows of water, pose a complicated problem for regional governance and vitality in the future.

Type: Article
Title: Megapolitan Political Ecology and Urban Metabolism in Southern Appalachia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2014.905158
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00330124.2014.905158
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: megapolitan region, southern Appalachia, urban metabolism, urban political ecology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538675
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