Producing Landscapes, Extracting Profits, Inserting Risk
This chapter illuminates how the production of vulnerability proceeds through—and is supported by—interconnected economic development and resource use activities across city and regional scales. It explores the connection between lucrative resource extraction, realty speculation, reforestation, and home construction activities in the Tunnel Fire area. These Oakland Hills Tunnel Fire activities and resulting forms of vulnerability are linked to the development of the San Francisco Bay Area. The historically resource-rich Oakland Hills “countryside” played a crucial role in shaping and facilitating San Francisco's post-Gold Rush economic ascendance. These resource-provisioning activities generated roadways that several decades later fell under the speculative eye of housing developers in search of suburban homes and vacation retreats for the region's new elite. This transition from resource extraction to real estate speculation was instantiated in the landscape, as several logging paths in Oakland became arterial roads populated by municipal infrastructure, flammable tree cover, and eventually a vast collection of new home developments in high fire risk areas.
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