1988 volume 20(3) pages 285 – 308
doi:10.1068/a200285

Cite as:
Perkins H C, 1988, "Bulldozers in the Southern Part of Heaven: defending place against rapid growth. Part 1: local residents' interpretations of rapid urban growth in a free-standing service-class town" Environment and Planning A 20(3) 285 – 308

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Bulldozers in the Southern Part of Heaven: defending place against rapid growth. Part 1: local residents' interpretations of rapid urban growth in a free-standing service-class town

H C Perkins

Received 26 November 1986; in revised form 27 March 1987

Abstract. A qualitative social geographical study of a community group's interpretation of rapid urban growth in a free-standing service-class town, Chapel Hill, NC, is reported. The town has a reputation for being a beautiful and comfortable place. This is reflected in its metaphorical description as the `Southern Part of Heaven'. Members of the Chapel Hill Alliance of Neighborhoods had developed a strong sense of place in the town. Rapid growth threatened adverse change to elements of that sense of place. These include Chapel Hill's landscape and the life-style available to its residents. The symbolic and structural elements of Alliance members' interpretations of these changes are discussed.

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