Reply To: 25.5 May – Reflections

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Miguel Núñez # Posted on May 28, 2015 at 10:00

This reflection mentioned any of the methodologies used by Henrik Ernston et al (2008) in his doctoral dissertation called Actors, Networks and Resilience in Urban Landscapes, with special focus on the paper Weaving protecting stories: connective practices to articulate holistic values in Stockholm National Urban Park. The actor-network theory, the social movement theory and the social-network analyses are skills used by the author to explain a successful experience in the social shaping of ecological values which finally were recognized by the National Urban Park Law in 1995 creating the Stockholm National Park.

According with H. Ernston through linking green areas and the mobilization of social actors was built a public recognition of the social capital of the artifacts produced by activists, artists and Scientifics such as maps, paintings and reports which supported the final approbation of the above mentioned law in the Swedish Parliament. Likewise, the concepts built by the core and periphery social actors regarding to the ecological, historical and national values of the Park were legal basis for the municipal authorities in the management of this protected area from the construction of infrastructure.

The protective story as the author called to this social process began because in 1991 an agreement between the Swedish government and major investors was signed for the construction of infrastructure in locations of the current Park. As response, 22 environmental defenders organizations combined their efforts in The Alliance of the Ecopark to lobbied policy-makers and by this way preventing the exploitation of the place. The keen behaviors of social actors, and deciding factors to influence the values incorporated in the National Urban Park Law, included as the author points out the access to social arenas, the artifacts linked, their social networks position and capabilities of activists. (p. 109)

Reflection and questions from the Global South

A strong democracy with participative mechanisms open to the public, the existence of a scientific an academic tradition, a culture of dialogue and no confrontation and the high respect to the free of association would seem as the values to support successes experiences of social movement in the governance of the social commons. This social process of constitution of a National Park in Sweden where the people’s voice and knowledge is valued rather than the economic values of competition and urban growing, there is a great example about the effectiveness of the democracy.

On the other hand, as it was discussed in the meeting of “Current debates” at Blasenhus on 25th may: Who are the final users of the Stockholm National Park? Who of them has free access to the park in which parts of the year? Who has limited rights in the enjoying of the park because their lacks of social, economic or symbolic capital? Are the social actors that shaped the National Urban Park Swedish Law part of elite?