Plastic flowers and mowed lawns: the exploration of everyday unsustainability

Helen Kopnina
  • Journal of Urbanism International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, October 2018, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/17549175.2018.1527780

Exploration of treatment of plants and sustainability in the cities

What is it about?

In human-controlled environments and in cultivated landscapes, the plants accommodate social, cultural and economic needs. This article will focus on the use of plants for agriculture, urban planning, forestry, environmental education and indoor decoration in The Netherlands. This exploration, based on literature review and observations, reveals mostly anthropocentric, instrumental and unsustainable practices. In urban landscapes plants are pushed to the margins, if not entirely eradicated.

Why is it important?

This article shows that moral recognition of plants is an ethical imperative, which is also critically important to achieve environmental sustainability. In line with ecocentric ethics and in the interest of long-term sustainability, this article suggests alternative, more ethical and sustainable ways of relating to plants in The Netherlands and beyond.


Dr Helen Kopnina
The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Exploration of treatment of plants and sustainability in the cities

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina