In the current context of rapid environmental change, the “city” provokes a range of different sentiments. It is seen as a cause of environmental degradation and extinction; a site where vulnerable bodies are unevenly exposed to infrastructural risk, failure and violence; a critical arena for building alternative socio-environmental futures; and a laboratory for resilience, rewilding and other techno-ecological experimentations entangled with financial capital. Departing from the untenable city-nature distinction, the notion of urban nature is a subject of new conceptual interest, evokes new types of landscapes, and provides a focal point for (counter-)hegemonic practices. Recent scholarship has focused on post-industrial wastelands, restored wetlands, and other part curated part spontaneous urban refugia; urban experience and corporeal exposure to light, air, radiation and temperature; the appropriation of nature as a source of biomimetic solutions; and epistemological dilemmas of non-representational theories of agency.
This paper session explores these and other themes emerging in and beyond the field of urban political ecology. It poses the following questions: What is the potential of spaces of urban nature to facilitate new forms of socio-environmental integration and political imagination? In which contexts are wastelands and other post-industrial landscapes being transformed from ecological liabilities to financial assets? What are the challenges and limits to the greening of grey infrastructures? How is urban nature differently conceptualized, as relational, networked, lively, emergent, self-organizing, threatening or threatened, in contemporary urban discourses? What kind of theoretical impasses exist between new materialist, neo-Marxist, phenomenological and queer/feminist approaches to urban nature? How do new digital or artificial ecologies impact the urban realm? How is urban nature being reconfigured through new types of scientific data and practices of measurement and sensing?
|Presenter||Sarah Hinners*, University of Utah, Diane Pataki, University of Utah, Becoming Native: Adaptation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure to local culture and ecology||15||12:00 AM|
|Presenter||Ben Platt*, University of Cambridge, Sedimentary Wetlands as Ontopolitical Urban Landscapes: An ‘Anticipatory Political Ecology’ of the Erith Saltings, inner Thames Estuary.||15||12:00 AM|
|Presenter||Andy Morris*, The Open University, Spectacular nightmares: the lively geographies of humans and starlings in Rome||15||12:00 AM|
|Presenter||Sandra Jasper*, Humboldt University Berlin, Abandoned infrastructures and nonhuman life||15||12:00 AM|
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