Plastic flowers and mowed lawns: the exploration of everyday unsustainability

Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In human-controlled environments and in cultivated landscapes, the plants accommodate social, cultural and economic needs. This article will focus on the use of plants for agriculture, urban planning, forestry, environmental education and indoor decoration in The Netherlands. This exploration, based on literature review and observations, reveals mostly anthropocentric, instrumental and unsustainable practices. In urban landscapes plants are pushed to the margins, if not entirely eradicated. This article shows that moral recognition of plants is an ethical imperative, which is also critically important to achieve environmental sustainability. In line with ecocentric ethics and in the interest of long-term sustainability, this article suggests alternative, more ethical and sustainable ways of relating to plants in The Netherlands and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-155
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Issue number2
Early online date11 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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