The Ways The Green Bans Movement Would Serve As A Struggle In Australian History That Would Redefine The Meaning Of Citizenship And How It Relates To Everyday Urban Life

2149 words - 9 pages

The ways the Green Bans Movement would serve as a struggle in Australian History that would redefine the meaning of Citizenship and how it relates to everyday Urban Life.i. IntroductionCitizenship is essentially a social construct that defines the manner in which an individual identifies with others due to a commonality which allows them to associate with each other through a system of rights and responsibilities toward each other and a higher body. Although citizenship is commonly perceived according to notions of membership to a certain nation-state, the purposes of this paper will extend the definition of citizenship to that stated by Tully (1999, p.170) whereby the construct is defined as "the participation of citizens in the ways in which their conduct is governed by the exercise of political power in any system or practice of governance". In this, citizenship is a rather abstract phenomenon encompassed around common interests and the human nature to unify in order to promote and protect certain values and interests.As the awareness of the impacts upon the environment were becoming more apparent in the 1970's, Australians felt the need to protect the environment from the effects of large-scale construction and development occurring in Australia, especially in New South Wales. This formed what is known as the Green Bans Movement which was essentially driven by the Builders Labourers Foundation of New South Wales. These bans promoted the interests of many citizens and unions pertaining to the need for environmentally conscious development. These bans were considerably important as they serve as an example of how struggles over the meaning of citizenship in Australia were apparent as they offer insight into the perplexity surrounding citizenship and how Australians as citizens in an overarching sense may transform their ideals of citizenship when facing contrasting values to another institution such as the government. In the case of the Green Bans movement, the formal parameters of citizenship were fragmented and replaced with that of insurgent citizenship whereby non-violent force in the form of labour restrictions were enforced in order to restore the democratic principles citizens were being denied such as the right to the city and the right to participate in decision making processes. This paper will explore this discourse of citizenship as well as the notion of the right to the city and the ways this struggle defined many planning practices in the following decades.ii. Overview of the Green Bans MovementAs large-scale development and construction was occurring in Australia in the 1970's, a major push for the construction of sky scrapers, shopping centers, and high-end residential apartments was evident. A coupling of the need to maximize of 'property capital' as well as the push for development by a seemingly corrupt New South Wales government "slavishly following the whims and wishes of the property developers" (Daly 1982, pg. 80) would...

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