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Just because they say it is sustainable development, it does not mean that it is: Sustainable development as a master-signifier in Swiss urban and regional planning
CARR, Constance
2020
 

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Keywords :
sustainable development; master-signifier; Switzerland; urban planning; municipal development; discourse analysis
Abstract :
[en] With stunning green landscapes, exemplary public transport, and picturesque walkable cities, Switzerland often occupies the public imaginary of a place that has tackled sustainable development. This research, however, looks under the hood and finds that this development path supports not only modes of capital accumulation, but also certain less sustainable patterns of development and governance. This paper examines this apparent paradox by looking at the role of sustainable development as a master-signifier in Swiss urban development processes. Empirical observations were made in the Glatt Valley of Switzerland, where governing officials of small municipalities are confronted with coordinating urban development under growth pressure within cantonal and federal policy frameworks that claim sustainable development. It can be seen that sustainable development is an empty master-signifier that policy makers engage to justify the quilting of a certain hegemonic discourses of power that reflect in further uneven urban development. By reproducing business as usual market-led urban growth, fragmentation is maintained as are social spatial disparities are entrenched.
Disciplines :
Human geography & demography
Author, co-author :
CARR, Constance  ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE)
Language :
English
Title :
Just because they say it is sustainable development, it does not mean that it is: Sustainable development as a master-signifier in Swiss urban and regional planning
Publication date :
2020
Name of the research project :
SUSTAIN_GOV
Funders :
FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche [LU]
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since 11 August 2020

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