Animals as Stakeholders in Urban Spatial Planning : A Case Study of the Jokeri Light Rail, Helsinki, Finland

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012155006
Title: Animals as Stakeholders in Urban Spatial Planning : A Case Study of the Jokeri Light Rail, Helsinki, Finland
Author: Delesantro, Allan
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Helsingfors universitet, Matematisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012155006
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/322912
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Kaupunkitutkimuksen ja suunnittelun maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning
Magisterprogrammet i urbana studier och planering
Specialisation: USP Systems
USP Systems
USP Systems
Discipline: none
Abstract: Urban spatial planning is a cooperative mechanism in ethics which seeks to regulate how land is used, modified and arranged in order to sustain quasi-stable coexistences of dense populations with varied needs and values. Perhaps no needs and values are more varied than those of the many nonhuman animals which live alongside humans in urban spaces. Communicative planning theory (CPT) has emerged over the last 30 years to improve planning’s ethical content by navigating fuller and more diverse multi-interest, multi-stakeholder discourses. The perceived or real absence of significant human-nonhuman animal communications presents a problem for incorporating animals into communicative planning’s anthroponormative frameworks. This thesis adopts a socioecologically hybridized perspective to explore why and how animals may be conceived of as stakeholders in communicative planning, what values and practices produce human-nonhuman animal relationships, and how these translate to outcomes in spatial planning. Using theories which question the viability of the human-animal binary, especially actor network theory (ANT) and Callon’s sociology of translation, I develop my own relational perspective of urban communicative and spatial planning practice that may include nonhuman animals as part of urban spatial planning’s ‘decision-making spaces’. I use this approach in analysis of a spatial planning problem involving three species of nonhuman animals, the Jokeri Light Rail of Helsinki, Finland. From the case study I draw conclusions about how nonhuman animals relate, communicate and negotiate within spatial planning systems in fundamentally distinct ways requiring the development of new communicative apparatus and stakeholder engagement tools. In conclusion, I discuss the ways in which the animal-as-stakeholder concept might be affirmatively used by professional planners to achieve better outcomes for multi-species communities. This means conceiving of urban development not as a battle of human progress against biodiversity conservation, but a multivariable negotiation to reach ‘good enough’ outcomes for a multitude of organisms. I conclude that contemporary spatial planning’s ethical aims of creating quasi-stable urban coexistences demands developing deliberative processes of decision-making with and in a multispecies community.
Subject: spatial planning
animals
stakeholders
biodiversity
conservation planning


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