Beyond Hybridity: Novel Ecosystems and Layered Landscapes in Central Europe

Authors: David Havlick*, University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, CO
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Environment, Military Geography
Keywords: novel ecosystems, militarization, ecological restoration, commemoration
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Zulu, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


For more than a decade, the concept of novel ecosystems has stirred interest within the field of restoration ecology. Novel ecosystems challenge scholars to consider how history, human activity, and dynamic systems intersect with restoration values. This paper examines how these same terms can be applied when culture is worked more actively into view, particularly in the context of the Iron Curtain borderlands of central Europe. Through much of the previous century, these European borderlands have been characterized differently by the designation, hardening, and blurring of borders. Throughout the Cold War, central Europe was divided by one of the world’s most militarized and extensive zones of exclusion, yet today many of these same lands are gaining new attention as the Green Belt of Europe. The history, human impacts, and change along these lands may be understood as a system of novel (cultural) ecosystems, which present opportunities for restoration or erasure.

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