Urban Nature Temporalities

Temporalities of urban natures: imaginaries, narratives, and practices: Interdisciplinary Workshop Series 2021-2022, located in Venice, Malmö and Berlin



Temporalities of urban natures: imaginaries, narratives, and practices

Organisers:  Lucilla Barchetta (Università Iuav di Venezia) & Mathilda Rosengren (Malmö Universitet)
Keynote speakers: Bianca Maria Rinaldi (Politecnico di Torino); Henriette Steiner (Københavns Universitet); Sandra Jasper (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Key dates:
1st workshop: Venice - 23-24 September 2021
2nd workshop: Malmö - 25-26 March 2022
3rd workshop: Berlin - 24-25 June 2022

The search for viable avenues for multispecies coexistence is fast becoming a defining feature of the Anthropocene. Only in the past year, the concurrent emergencies of climate change and SARSCov2 have underscored the intimate relations between human-shaped environments and the disastrous deterioration of once thriving ecosystems. As such, more-than-human appropriations of urban space illuminate both complex challenges and potential solutions to a sustainable co-existing in the Anthropocene city.

In this context, the workshop series seeks to explore how different temporal entanglements structure, affect, and co-produce urban landscapes of the Anthropocene city through three overlapping thematic approaches (narratives, imaginaries, and practices).

Material Narratives of Urban Natures

We are interested in examining urban natures as material testimonies of urban pasts, presents, and potential futures. Bringing environmental musings from anthropology, archaeology, and geography – where linear, historical time is but one of many temporalities affecting landscapes – to urban settings, we ask how narratives of the urban may be reconstructed to include the material agencies and storytelling of non-human beings and more-than-human urban cohabitation.

Environmental Imaginaries of Urban Change

We turn to environmental imaginaries to untangle how tensions around changes in urban natures do not solely concern human spatio-temporal schemas but also divergent, contradicting, and embodied more-than-human temporalities of growth and stagnation, death and decay. We are interested in how rhetorics of urban progress and ideologies of conservation often establish a division between matter-in-time and matter out-of-time, assigning culpability to those that “block” change or are the supposed causes of undesirable changes.

Practices of Environmental Design

We want to address the value of adopting a temporal approach when designing for the Anthropocene city. In particular, we are interested in exploring how urban natures, initially encouraged and designed for, over time come to be seen as nuisances, and, conversely, how the temporal qualities of previously undesirable or overlooked non-human bodies become fundamental elements in the design practice. 


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urban.nature.temporalities[ at ]gmail.com

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urban.nature.temporalities[ at ]gmail.com