Rethinking Urban Nature
Start date: May 1, 2014,
End date: Apr 30, 2019
This ground-breaking project will challenge existing understandings of urban nature using an innovative interdisciplinary framework in a comparative international context. The project provides a new theoretical approach that moves beyond existing approaches to provide a novel synthesis between advances in urban ecology and original insights into cultural and political dimensions to the production of urban space. My core hypothesis is that in order to understand the dynamics of urban nature we must link the independent agency of nature with a renewed urban environmental history that takes full account of changing conceptions of human subjectivity, the ideological dimensions to scientific metaphors, and the need to develop new critical engagements with the global South. Using four cities as case studies — London, Berlin, Tallinn, and Chennai — the project will show that a theoretically nuanced and historically grounded exploration of the intersections between critical urban discourses and recent advances in urban ecology provides a vital counterpoint to narrowly utilitarian approaches to urban nature. In addition to a series of academic outputs the project will also create a documentary film, an exhibition, a website, and a series of workshops and public events.
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