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Legal Strategies for the Development and Protection of Communal Property$
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Ting Xu and Alison Clarke

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266380

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266380.001.0001

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Ownership and Belonging in Urban Green Space

Ownership and Belonging in Urban Green Space

(p.177) 9 Ownership and Belonging in Urban Green Space
Legal Strategies for the Development and Protection of Communal Property

Simone Abram

Sarah Blandy

British Academy

This chapter examines publicly accessible urban green spaces, from both anthropological and socio-legal perspectives. It explores the concept of communal property through a case study of Heeley People’s Park and two other urban parks in Sheffield, UK. It draws on a range of sources, including evidence of individual and collective practices which have changed the land over time. Tensions between the social understandings of ownership and belonging, and the legal definition of property, are highlighted through a bundle of rights analysis. The chapter considers different ownership structures and governance frameworks for urban green spaces, concluding that there is a mismatch between these legal arrangements and experiences of belonging and ownership, in the non-legal sense. The consequent difficulty in articulating a discourse of communal property undermines efforts to secure the funding needed to protect and maintain these important community resources.

Keywords:   belonging, communal property discourse, democratic accountability, funding, governance, legal frameworks, ownership, parks

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