Synopses & Reviews
This collection of eleven essays, edited by Char Miller, examines the environmental history of San Antonio, drawing upon an interdisciplinary array of authors and insights to highlight the evolving relationship between the city's residents and the South Texas landscape, showing the citizens and the environment have shaped each other.
The essays trace the citys environmental history over the last 300 years, from the Spanish explorers to the present. Many of the essays discuss issues that challenge San Antonio today--urban sprawl, water rights, and unchecked economic development--and show the events that led to their complexity.
The border of the title refers to San Antonios location at the edge of the Great Plains on the north and the coastal plain on the South, at the intersection of the eastern half of the country with the western half. It also refers, as Andrew Hurley writes, to the citys social landscape.
The book looks beyond the natural environment to assess the citys social ecology, chronicling the history of the citys parks, water and sewer systems, and other infrastructures and concluding that San Antonios power brokers "did not conceive of the community as a community."
These 11 essays trace the 300-year struggle that the peoples of San Antonio have waged with their environment. With the underlying question of whether people define San Antonio's environment or vice versa, experts examine the history and impact of issues that challenge San Antonio today - most notably urban sprawl, water rights, and unchecked economic development. Deeply entwined with these environmental issues are questions of the city's social ecology, which the essays also chronicle, ranging from the history of the city's parks to that of its sewer systems and everything in between.