The curious untidiness of property & ecosystem services: A hybrid method of measuring place
This paper looks at property and ecosystem services through the empirical lens of their convergence in two well-loved landscapes on New Zealand’s South Island. Ecosystem services are those services provided to society by functioning ecosystems, but they do not fit easily into traditional conceptions of property. This leads to an untidy overlay of linear property rights across the multi-scalar resource flows of ecosystem services. Methodologically, this paper compares three divergent tools for measuring ecosystem services in a propertied landscape, and develops a new hybrid method. Comparing methods reveals the dialectical tension between property and ecosystem services; combining the methods in a hybrid resolves it. Theoretically, the paper builds on ideas of ecosystem services in landscapes, property theories of plurality and marginality, and the legal geography of localized place. Substantively, creating the hybrid method of observing property will allow more contextualized and representative depictions of the lived experience of property and ecosystem services in a landscape. The methodological comparison reveals a curiosity: the more rational and detached the method of representation, the less recognizable the landscape. Somewhere becomes a propertied nowhere. The empirics of place and our new hybrid method of observation bell the cat. Disparate though they may be, property and ecosystem services are two sides of the same coin. This is the paradox we wade into.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research120504 Land Use and Environmental Planning
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