This article explores the relationship between understandings of citizenship and the nature of hazardous urbanization. Through discussion of the colonial creation of a Brazilian city in the Atlantic Forest, and the concurrent creation of vulnerability to floods and landslides, it suggests that calls for ‘better’ citizenship—without a fundamental reappraisal of its ecological content—are likely to reproduce hazardous urban environments. The article aims to bring work from citizenship studies and urban political ecology into productive dialogue through a provocative case study, in order to explore the overlaps between the power of the modern, liberal, state and visions of nature as ‘outside’ the city.
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