Albany Bulb, a former landfill, is a thirty-one-acre battleground for the Bay Area’s competing progressive movements for social justice, environmental conservation, and politically engaged art. Street protest, lawsuits, regulatory jockeying, anarchist camp-ins, and art have all been deployed in the name of saving this oddball spit of land from and for its users of many species. Drawing from information collected over sixteen years of visits to the Bulb, including scores of hours of interviews beginning in 2013, this essay brings together work from an interdisciplinary team of UC Berkeley students and Bulb residents to apply techniques of ethnography, contemporary archaeology, oral history, participatory mapping, mobile apps, botany, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning to the study of the Bulb.
The Battle of the Bulb: Nature, culture and art at a San Francisco Bay landfill
Susan Moffat is project director of the University of California, Berkeley, Global Urban Humanities Initiative. An urban planner and curator, she has worked in journalism, affordable housing, and environmental planning in the United States and Asia. She is currently organizing an arts festival at the Albany Bulb.
Susan Moffat; The Battle of the Bulb: Nature, culture and art at a San Francisco Bay landfill. Boom 1 September 2016; 6 (3): 68–79. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.3.68
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