The Aurora Plan: How two Commons Helped Shape a Small Midwestern City

Authors: James Misfeldt*, University of Alabama, Matthew LaFevor, The University of Alabama
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Environmental Perception, Political Geography
Keywords: Human geography, commons, environment and society, neoliberalism, political economy
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download

Public spaces of parks and gardens have been described as commons in modern cities. Examples of such commons been described as stages for communities to resist expanding neoliberalism around them but also as tools for governments advancing neoliberal policies. This paper uses primary sources such as local news reports, social media posts and interview data to narrate a plan by the Sheboygan Area School District in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to enclose two commons in that city. A comparison of the contrasting reactions of the communities around these commons shows how different relationships between communities and their common spaces can shape the advancement of neoliberal policy, as well as the socioenvironmental landscape of a city.

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