Urban Plants and Colonial Durabilities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The long legacy of colonization that is rooted in how plants are known is mostly out of sight. But at times the colonial legacy of botany becomes all too apparent. This article draws upon ethnograhic field work in Cape Town, South Africa, over several years to contribute knoweldge how colonial and imperial forms of science and colonial management influenced urban botany and later urban ecology. But it points towards a more general argument that is often forgotten when the history of urban ecology and “urban nature knowledge” is written up. This works to decenter or on-stage what has often been silenced in the now taken-for-granted "success" story of the growth of modern urban ecology. What are the colonial remains within urban ecology and urban environmental knowledge today?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Botanical City
EditorsMatthew Gandy, Sandra Jasper
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Colonial remains
  • botany
  • knowledge politics
  • Cape Town


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