From Resilience to multi-Species Flourishing: (Re)imagining urban-environmental governance in Penang, Malaysia

Connolly, Creighton (2019) From Resilience to multi-Species Flourishing: (Re)imagining urban-environmental governance in Penang, Malaysia. Urban Studies . ISSN 0042-0980

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0042098018807573

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From Resilience to multi-Species Flourishing: (Re)imagining urban-environmental governance in Penang, Malaysia

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

This article uses the concept of multi-species flourishing to evaluate the potential of emergent urban governance initiatives in Penang, Malaysia, for achieving more socially and environmentally just forms of urban development. In doing so, the article offers an empirical examination of increasing development pressures on the forested hillsides of Penang, and the significant environmental and socio-cultural implications associated with this activity. This includes the significant flash-flooding and landslides in 2016 and 2017 that have been attributed to unscrupulous hillside developments and deforestation on the island for condominium and highway development. In tracing local responses to these developments, the article draws attention to the various more-than-human relationships that have been mobilised in preventing further degradation of the environment. It also re-visits the concept of environmental imaginaries to illustrate the close relationship between environmental and social wellbeing. The article argues that it is important to move beyond concepts of resilience, which advocate the implementation of technology and engineering measures to adapt to, rather than resist, the environmental shocks associated with intensive urban development. The research for this article has been conducted through participatory research with local civil society groups, and aims to evaluate the role of both governmental and non-state actors in these efforts and the challenges faced in doing so. The article concludes that research on urban resilience and urban governance must move beyond human-centred modes of thought and practice that regard cities as operating outside of ecological systems.

Keywords:environmental imaginary, Malaysia, multi-species flourishing, resilience, urban governance
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F810 Environmental Geography
L Social studies > L712 Human and Social Geography of Asia
L Social studies > L722 Urban Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:34956
Deposited On:12 Feb 2019 09:12

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