It’s a dark shade of green -the colour of parks and an urban forest, of mountains against the sunset of a cloudless night. It figures large in the imagination: the city on the edge of the wilderness; the city as wilderness.
It represents a tremendous stock of natural and symbolic capital, insinuating itself into everything from flags to the bureaucratese of Urban Forest Strategies and Greenest City Action Plans.
It’s potent. Proximity to green space, or just a glimpse of water or peak, goes a long, long way in justifying indentured life in a concrete sarcophagus.
But it’s fragile, too. To get at it, to package and merchandise that quotient of nature, it must be destroyed. And so, trees are falling, views are disappearing, and the wilderness is in full retreat.
The hard sell is getting harder. Irresistible forces, meet the immovable reality of finite resources. The impact is creating shock waves, distorting perceptions of local space, generating images of some other place, some other reality liberated from contradiction. The glimpses of green fantasy: generous parks and open skies; towers rising above a forested plain; thoroughfares cum orchards; and green spaces immune to influence.