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University at Buffalo School of Law

Law and Geography

2008

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Governing Certain Things: The Regulation Of Street Trees In Four North American Cities, Irus Braverman Jan 2008

Governing Certain Things: The Regulation Of Street Trees In Four North American Cities, Irus Braverman

Journal Articles

Most sociolegal studies of the urban street focus on the human element. By focusing on the tree, my Article offers a unique perspective on the interrelations between various actors within the public spaces of modern North American cities. Situated at the intersection of legal geography, anthropology, and Science and Technology Studies, this Article demonstrates how natural artifacts function as technologies of governance, thereby masking crucial political interventions behind a natural facade. The tensions between nature and the city, as embedded in both the construction and the regulation of street trees, provide an unusual perspective on the management of urban populations …