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Natural neighbors: indigenous landscapes and ‘eco-estates’ in Durban, South Africa

Ballard, Richard and Jones, Gareth A. ORCID: 0000-0001-9844-4547 (2011) Natural neighbors: indigenous landscapes and ‘eco-estates’ in Durban, South Africa. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101 (1). pp. 131-148. ISSN 0004-5608

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00045608.2010.520224


In South Africa, new gated communities have begun branding themselves as “eco-estates,” “game estates,” “nature estates,” and “forest estates.” The marketing and consumption of nature has become prominent in the production and consumption of gated communities. A particular emphasis is placed on the use of native or indigenous plant species in landscape design. Suburbanites seeking to escape the increasingly mixed and threatening postapartheid city are offered a chance to reconnect with nature in eco-estates. Where largely white elites often feel a precarious hold in the new South Africa, natural heritage offers attachment to place. These natural landscapes are highly selective engagements with the local. Nature-oriented gated communities offer spaces that exclude problematic plants and people alike. Yet, while attempting to capitalize on this new gardening trend, developers have risked alienating conventional gardeners of exotic horticultural plants. The result is a strategic accommodation of different material expressions of landscape.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 Association of American Geographers
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2009 09:28
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 06:30

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