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Geopolitical Ecologies: Tracing the Shift From Citizen to User at Tempelhof and the Presidio


This project examines the post-Cold War development of two new public parks at Tempelhof Airfield in Berlin, Germany, and the Presidio Army Base, in San Francisco, California. It situates these two cases against a larger literature on the revival of the public park during the same period, providing an alternative theoretical understanding of public parks linked to technology and geopolitics. This takes form by examining each case across three chapters, the first establishes the development of each site and its role in nation-state formation and urban development in its respective location. The second examines the emergence of post-war urban environmentalism, and the new concepts of nature and citizenship that manifested in the management of the urban environment by organizations like Grün Berlin GmbH, the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy, and the Presidio Trust. Finally, the third chapter examines the impact of these organizations on the production of public park spaces at the Presidio and Tempelhof. Comparing the genealogical development of these spaces sheds light on the political and social processes at work in the contemporary production of public park spaces, as well as the broader reconfiguration of concepts of citizenship and nature.

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