'Don't Let Industry Do its Business In Our Water!!!': Urban Space and Environmental Politics in Silicon Valley

Although considered a model for an alternative form of industrialization not burdened by smokestacks and heavy pollution, Silicon Valley’s history as a high-tech manufacturer has resulted in ecological disaster, social inequality, and jumpstarted debates about urban sustainability. Silicon Valley extols it’s relationship with the natural world: access to mountain ranges, proximity to salt and fresh water beaches, large open spaces, hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. But that reputation masks the more complicated story that made compromises with the natural world. As suburban and high-tech capital poured into the region, an environmental politic formed in response to rapid urban expansion, widespread pollution, and environmental racism.


Host: Ball State University | Apr 12, 2017


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Greetings! My name is Jason Heppler. I am a Digital Engagement Librarian and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a scholar of the twentieth-century United States. I often write here about the history of the North American West, technology, the environment, politics, culture, and coffee. You can follow me on Twitter, or learn more about me.

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