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“Encountering Urbanization on Jersey: Development, Sustainability, and Spatiality in a Small Island Setting”


On the island of Jersey, the success of local industries including agriculture, tourism, and financial services has helped grow the population of permanent residents, contract workers, seasonal workers, and short-term tourists. As a result, between 1950 and 2015 the island’s population nearly doubled from about 55,000 to 100,000, and, consequently, the landscape has undergone much urban development, not only in and around the parish capital of St Helier, but also in varying degrees in each of the island’s other parishes. During this period of population growth, the island’s urbanization has been framed within a context of developing the island’s industries on the one hand, yet sustaining the island’s unique environment on the other. After all, one of the main qualities of Jersey that has helped its tourism industry has been its ability to maintain characteristics of the island in a context of population growth and increased resource restraints. Using a method of critical inquiry of primary and secondary sources, this article foregrounds how the geographically small island of Jersey has encountered urbanization, particularly in the decades following the Second World War. The discussion illustrates some of the consequences for islanders and how development and sustainability as an assemblage of interconnected practices and perceptions have helped craft a distinct environment for the island that contributes to its local character. The article shows that inward migration flows have led to a locally-defined urbanization, which has resulted in a continually growing population and a type of urban island lure. For the field of Island Studies, a study of Jersey’s locally-defined urbanization sheds light on how urban development and sustainability consciousness is characterized and practised on this particular small island in an era that sees it especially dependent on the finance and tourism industries.

Categories Politics, Social science
Keywords Immigration, Jersey, locally-defined urbanisation, migration-led urbanisation, urbanisation
Author Henry Johnson
Date published 2016
Document type Report
Organisation University of Otago
IRR Code IRR/UOO/2016.43940
File Type pdf