Sauvage artificiel et domestique réel dans la construction de la “nature en ville“ : le végétal, médium privilégié de l’imaginaire du sauvage.

Sophie Pagnon Bekaert


Artificial sauvage and real domesticity in the making of “nature in cities” : flora as the main medium for sauvage imaginaries. The expressions “Putting nature back in the city” or “greener cities” are part of a dynamic rhetorical set where the rewilding branch of the imaginaries is particularly used. While the livability of cities is questioned, we use the “outside the walls” imaginary of a romanticised wilderness (sauvage). However, this rewilding actually seems to mobilize domestic figures, usually being about vegetalizing cities, whether it is about urban planning or the idea of nature as a service-provider. Flora appears as having become the principal medium through which the sauvage/wild is perceived inside cities. This is part of a general movement of re-romanticizing the idea of nature, blending imaginaries born out of very different territories : that of the sauvage and that of the anglo-saxon wild, the latter being loaded with a romantic power seemingly tainting our conceptions of urban planning. What if the meaning of sauvage was more about the production of this floral signifier as a representation of a radical alterity to the metropolitan habitat as a normative model ?


Rewilding | Urban wilderness | Wild | Nature culture duality | Metropolis | Wilderness imaginaries



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Im@go. A Journal of the Social Imaginary - Biannual - Edizioni Mimesis