'If This Were to Be Lost': Relating Environmental Justice and an Ethic of Care in Everyday Shared Spaces
41 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2018
Date Written: May 14, 2018
Law plays a vital role in the life and loss of open, green spaces used, shared, and enjoyed on an everyday basis by local people. In this article, we adopt an analytical framework based on environmental justice to critique the registration process for this type of land as a town or village green. We focus on the considerable challenges facing people seeking to protect areas in this way, using as an example a public inquiry into the registration as a green of ancient woodland on the outskirts of Sheffield, England. Analysing written and oral witness statements, we express concerns about imbalance in access to legal and other resources as between prospective developers and residents and wildlife groups opposing development. Inspired by feminist theorists and critical geographers, we consider the influence of an ethic of care on conceptions of justice. This methodological and theoretical approach helps us to understand how such local spaces occupy a central place in many people’s everyday lives and how the consequences of the loss of these areas might be better recognised and accounted for in legal processes, with greater sensitivity and a stronger sense of dignity and fairness than is currently the case.
Keywords: Local Green Spaces, Environmental Justice, Knowledge Claims, Ethic of Care
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation