Restorative, heterotopic spacing for campus sustainability

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This article proposes an alternative spatial form for a university campus, which embeds itself within the region, in which it is located. The proposed campus spacing is inspired by recent research from the environmental psychology discipline, around Attention Restorative Theory, along with its central four principles. Furthermore, the article explores how a critical interpretation of Foucault’s six heterotopic principles, following Harvey, maps onto Attention Restorative Theory principles and reflexively unmasks the dialectic tensions of what is termed ‘restorative, heterotopic spacing’. Focusing on the potential implications to campus sustainability, a specific campus initiative called the Oberlin Project will be critically explored, in relation to the potential enactment of Attention Restorative Theory, from an academic and local community perspective. It reflects on the significance of an artistic, regional set of trans-disciplinary integrated initiatives for such restorative spacing, within the expanded urban and regional notion of Oberlin campus. However, it concludes by expressing a concern over the extent to which the generative embrace of diverse Oberlin actors, both on and off campus, is being fulfilled.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-771
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number4
Early online date5 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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