Infrastructure, Subjectivity, and the Debates Surrounding Expressway Expansion into Split Oak Forest

Authors: Caitlin Jones*, Florida State University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: infrastructure, subjectivity, conservation, contested activism
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

A clear material relation to toll roads exists, and it is imperative to acknowledge how the construction and imbedded practices of using highways in turn regulates how we live out everyday life, view space, and intercede in politics. Subjects of infrastructure are assembled through these imagined built environments. With planning phases in the proposed Osceola Expressway Extension advancing, a discourse is being cultivated between opposing factions, and forming questions regarding our subjectivity to toll roads and the regulatory powers they possess. The crux of the debate is formed from the majority of the proposed routes crossing through the Split Oak Forest and Wildlife Management Area, a mitigation park and state protected conservation land in Florida. Environmental groups, who staunchly oppose the expressway expansion and the state’s supposed infringement on the environment, fail to ignore how their normalized lives are intrinsically tied to the toll road they so adamantly oppose. Examining the debate between both those in favor and those opposed, it can be shown how these subjects’ lives are intrinsically tied to road infrastructure, and therefore are unintentionally regulated by it.

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