RSS Entries ATOM Entries

Resource – Australian Backyards book

Posted in Research by fedwards on November 7th, 2007

And yes…. More on backyards…. See “Research – The mystery of the disappearing backyards” for earlier posting and also, “Seeking resources – the “Sharing Backyards” idea” on

Backyard. Nature and Culture in Suburban Australia.
University of Wollongong Press
(ISBN 9781920831 51 6).
HB, 192pp.
RRP $69.95 by Lesley Head and Pat Muir

“This beautifully illustrated new book uses suburban backyards from Sydney, Wollongong and Alice Springs as a window on to Australian environmental attitudes and practices. In-depth interviews with backyarders are woven into an accessible discussion of current theories about the environment and ideas of nature and change. The book challenges the divisions between cities and nature, and the argument that urban Australians are alienated from nature, by showing how we are all enmeshed with the non-human world.

The research analyses both commonality and differences in the environmental positioning of diverse groups of urban Australians. Backyards can be zones of conflict and passionate argument. They are places where we establish boundaries around which plants, animals and people are allowed to belong. Trees, lawn, cats and native plants provoke a spectrum of responses between love and hate. By contrast, there is more of a shared ethic when it comes to water and birds. These findings have important implications for how we create sustainable cities (my italics!).

The research was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project. The book will be of interest in geography, urban studies, environmental science, anthropology, ecology, landscape planning, sociology and cultural studies. It is available through any good bookshop or order online at”

Comments are closed.