Article

More-than-human cities: Where the wild things are

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

In this paper we engage the twin concepts of ‘the stray’ and ‘the friend’ for developing empathetic imaginings towards ethical practices in the city. We build on Gruen’s (2015) notion of ‘entangled empathy’ as a critical pathway for realising more-than-human cities. Critical theory, frameworks and methods work to challenge anthropocentrism, shifting the boundaries used to define the Anthropos, and decentring homo urbanis as the defining reference point for ethical action. Drawing on assemblage-methods around diagramming and sketching we outline a more-than-human urban politics. In the urban archipelagos of the Anthropocene, ‘where the wild things are’ is a shared habitat called the city. As conceptual signifiers, we argue both stray and friend offer examples of new relational possibilities of a more-than human politics for cities that currently exist, and for those yet to come.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Moral panics about the unwanted "invaders" abound, along with demands for their removal or, where that is impossible, for restoration of wild animals' presumed natural fear of humans [5,6]. New imaginaries of urban human-wildlife coexistence are sorely needed, however [3,[7][8][9]. To that end, scholars working at the confluence of human-wildlife interactions research and critical animal studies critique anthropocentric conceptions of cities and question the effectiveness as well as the ethics of lethal methods of wildlife management [10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. ...
... To that end, scholars working at the confluence of human-wildlife interactions research and critical animal studies critique anthropocentric conceptions of cities and question the effectiveness as well as the ethics of lethal methods of wildlife management [10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. Efforts to specify what the "good city" might look like in more-than-human terms demand that humans recognize nonhuman animals as fellow urban dwellers with legitimate claims on shared urban spaces, claims that are not provisional, contingent on good behavior [3,9]. Notwithstanding methodological differences among their academic disciplines, philosophers [17][18][19][20], geographers [2,11,21], planners [3,22,23], and conservation scientists [8,24] who theorize multispecies flourishing in urban settings have converged on a distinction between thin and thick conceptions of nonhuman belonging. ...
... Thus, we ask to what extent urban wildlife management practices in U.S. cities reflect emerging conceptions of human-wildlife coexistence that acknowledge wild animals as fellow urban dwellers with legitimate claims on shared urban spaces [3,9]. If at least some wild animals have successfully achieved membership in urban society, has this revaluation affected how urban wildlife is governed? ...
Article
Full-text available
Conceptions of human–wildlife coexistence that acknowledge nonhuman wild animals as fellow urban dwellers with legitimate claims on shared urban spaces are starting to influence urban wildlife management practices. Insofar as at least some wild animals have successfully achieved membership in urban society, how has this revaluation affected how urban wildlife is governed? Our interpretive policy analysis explores this question in two areas of urban wildlife management where practices are becoming less lethal: predator management and rodent control. A directed qualitative content analysis of U.S. urban wildlife management plans and rodent control strategies reveals a shift from conflict to coexistence as the basis for understanding human–wildlife relations in urban settings. Indiscriminate killing of urban wildlife is condemned as unethical as well as impractical, and lethal control figures as a measure of last resort that must be rationally justified. Commensal rodents, however, do not benefit from this shift toward coexistence between humans and nonhuman species. Campaigns to restrict the use of rodenticides are intended to protect carnivores, not the rodents themselves. Though urban wildlife management is consistent with some elements of the vision of multispecies flourishing developed by human–animal studies scholars, not all species benefit equally from this transition, and the legitimacy of wild animals’ claims on shared urban spaces often remains contingent on their good behavior.
... In landscape theory, provocations for animal-aided design (AAD) seek ways in which conservation can be incorporated into the master plans of new urban development [99]. Incorporating more-than-human design and planning through new practices such as BDUD and ADD could contribute to the rewilding and realisation of more-than-human cities [100], but obstacles remain such as citizen's willingness to coexist with animals and wildlife conflicts [11,[101][102][103][104]. ...
... Urban studies have suffered from human exceptionalism for too long [100,105]. The challenge for urban theorists is to formulate responses to this perceived 'turn' in social sciences emanating from human geography, ecofeminism, and critical STS, highly influenced by the more-than-human geography of Bruno Latour, Sarah Whatmore, and Donna Haraway [100,[106][107][108][109]. ...
... Urban studies have suffered from human exceptionalism for too long [100,105]. The challenge for urban theorists is to formulate responses to this perceived 'turn' in social sciences emanating from human geography, ecofeminism, and critical STS, highly influenced by the more-than-human geography of Bruno Latour, Sarah Whatmore, and Donna Haraway [100,[106][107][108][109]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The term ‘sustainability’ has become an overused umbrella term that encompasses a range of climate actions and environmental infrastructure investments; however, there is still an urgent need for transformative reform work. Scholars of urban studies have made compelling cases for a more-than-human conceptualisation of urban and environmental planning and also share a common interest in translating theory into practical approaches and implications that recognise (i) our ecological entanglements with planetary systems and (ii) the urgent need for multispecies justice in the reconceptualisation of genuinely sustainable cities. More-than-human sensibility draws on a range of disciplines and encompasses conventional and non-conventional research methods and design approaches. In this article, we offer a horizon scan type of review of key posthuman and more-than-human literature sources at the intersection of urban studies and environmental humanities. The aim of this review is to (i) contribute to the emerging discourse that is starting to operationalise a more-than-human approach to smart and sustainable urban development, and; (ii) to articulate a nascent framework for more-than-human spatial planning policy and practice.
... The prevalence of the modernist idea that nature is a place considered wild and unsuitable for humans has led to the definition of cities as physical settlements away from nature (Steele et al., 2019). Regarding this, thinking of the city apart from nature and focusing on making it the most suitable place for humans has increased humancentered approaches and interventions. ...
... More-than-human studies have been extensively debated and developed in various fields, particularly, in geography, feminist studies, science and technology, and political science (Steele et al., 2019), and these studies have various intellectual and political origins. These are mainly concerned with object-oriented ontologies, which argue that non-human objects and reality are independent of human existence (Umbrello, 2018), and hybrid geographies that evaluate the social and natural worlds without separating them (Driessen, 2017). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The smart city concept, understanding the city from a technology-centered perspective, affects the formation of different ways of seeing by limiting the relationships in the city to human-centered interaction. Maintaining the human-centered approach is deepening the crises because of the pragmatist perspective in which every nonhuman being is seen as a resource to be exploited for human needs. However, this approach also reveals the necessity of new participation and collaboration systems with an understanding of the limitations of human centered practices in dealing with the urban and environmental crises experienced today. Therefore, in order to move away from the human-centered, it is important to establish a more-than-human understanding. The new perspectives generated by the concept of more-than-human on city-related issues open discussions on new questions for urban designers. The most critical question is, what is the role of urban design in rethinking the city with more-than-human participation? This research focuses on understanding how urban design practices affect the interaction between humans and non-human beings in the city. The aim of this research is to question the requirements of an alternative design approach that considers the city as a more ethical and equal place for all species. A multiple-case study method was used to help understand how design approaches and designers' roles affect the interaction between humans and non-human beings in the city. Consequently, this research considers smart cities beyond anthropocentrism and critically explores how design could develop inclusive and ethical relationships for the post-human future of cities.
... We therefore adopt them as imaginative lines of flight for critically articulating a transformative more-than-human vision of the dirty green city. This includes exploring the possibilities of the dirty green city as part of the methods of more-than-human assemblage (Head 2016;Steele, Wiesel, and Maller 2019). In what follows, the point of view of dirt is asserted creatively through the selected artworks of Reed. ...
... Emancipatory visions of the dirty green city must first politicise more-than-human matter such as soil in the urban context (Steele, Wiesel, and Maller 2019). This is not so much about politicising the ecological but rather, following Latour (1998, 235), 'a quest to ecologize the political'. ...
Article
The green city is being elevated to the status of a self-evident good in the theory and practice of urban sustainability. A large literature documents the linked environmental, economic and well-being benefits associated with vegetating urban systems to maximise the ecosystem function. Contemporary urban greening seeks to challenge attempts to expel nature from the city in a quest for order and control. However, by imagining nature as a new mode of urban purification, much effort in the name of the green city inverts and reproduces dualistic understandings of natural and built space. In response, we disrupt the normative dialectics of purity and dirt that sustain this dualism to expose the untidy but fertile ground of the green city. We draw together Ash Amin’s four registers of the Good City – relatedness, rights, repair and re-enchantment – with the artworks of the Australian visual ecologist Aviva Reed. Our work seeks to enrich the practice of more-than-human urbanism through ‘dirt thinking’ by imagining the transformative possibilities in, of and for the dirty green city.
... This approach requires that participants use their imagination to put themselves into the role of non-human actors. In a similar vein, Steele et al. (2019) identify two concepts of "the stray" and "the friend" as ways of developing empathy, through arts-based methods such as diagramming and sketching, for understanding the complex relationships between humans and non-humans in the city. Again, this approach is based on imagination and in urban environments. ...
... They demonstrate more connections to nature and to each other. They extend CyberPunk characters as they are imagined via real datasets and the artsbased approaches show promise to be used in conjunction with the other ideas outlined above, that of embodied urban walks (Clarke et al. 2019) and "stray" and "friend" approach of Steele et al. (2019). ...
... However, while there is a burgeoning literature on the subject, urban politics and planning has 'yet to embrace the urban as a multispecies, multi-thing reality in which nonhumans are active participants alongside humans in shaping cities and places' (Quinn, 2020, p. 1). More-thanhuman urban research has sought to disrupt the human-centric exceptionalism of urban lifecarving spaces for the recognition of and attunement to the agencies of nonhumans in co-producing the urban (Houston et al., 2018;Steele, Wiesel, & Maller, 2019), and more specifically, what that means for future research if planners recognise urban forests as becoming-urban (Jones & Instone, 2016). These realities explore myriad of interconnections between living and non-living entities and worlds that are rendered visible or invisiblefrom the microbes that have brought our cities to a stand-still during the Covid-19 pandemic to the smoke from the devastating 2019-2020 Australian bushfires that infiltrated lungs and buildings. ...
Article
Full-text available
These are uncertain times in the Anthropocene, where the health and resilience of all urban inhabitants should be key themes for cities striving for sustainability. To this end, local councils in Australia are applying digital technologies with increasing complexity as components of their urban forest management. This paper applies a more-than-human lens to analyse Australian local council urban forest policies, documents and project information for their inclusion and application of digital technologies. In this scoping review, digital geographies informed data collection to answer questions about the type, use and ownerships of tree data, and more-than-real and ‘lively data’ concepts were employed to extend their discussion. Our analysis found that local government policies focused on general urban tree data and canopy percentages and utilised this data to justify and create policy and program parameters. There was a general lack of more-than-human considerations beyond the focus on trees in creating and designing smart urban forests, but it is unclear whether this was due to technical limitations, council desires or other factors. Challenges identified for successful outcomes included balancing priorities, access to resources and information, technological constraints, and community factors such as capacity to engage and cultural values. Digital technologies that facilitate smart urban forests tended to reinforce and re-solidify Western values. However, strengths of current applications are also evident, and we explore how they provide more-than-real possibilities for human-nature relationships to deepen and foster collaborations between disparate groups and entities in urban environments. Greater consideration and acknowledgment of the more-than-human and understanding of the more-than-real in co-creation and co-design of digital technologies and their applications may facilitate more positive outcomes for human and non-human urban inhabitants.
... I should note that whilst the age-relationality framework appears very valuable in highlighting many aspects which should be included in any relational analysis of the ageing process, this framework does not readily lead us to consider other types of relations, for instance, interactions with the more-than-human (Whatmore 2002;Power 2008;Steele et al. 2019). Ageing is a process linked with a range of other processes, resources and conditions, including individual health and socioeconomic status, health care infrastructure and the condition of the local natural and built environments. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, Iossifova offers a brief introduction to Bulgaria’s recent history and the political and socioeconomic transitions that have led to the main challenges facing the country today: a rapidly shrinking and ageing population due to the unprecedented outmigration of younger generations in search of better livelihoods. Iossifova reviews the recent literature on ageing in human geography and related disciplines, including notions of ‘ageing in place’, age-relationality and the frameworks of intersectionality, intergenerationality and the lifecourse. She introduces the human ecosystem framework and discusses the grounded theory approach taken, including interviews, observation and autoethnography. She then moves on to present the case study areas in Sofia and the Village in the Bulgarian Balkans. She closes in outlining the structure of the book.
... Concomitantly, there is a greater understanding today of the socio-cultural co-benefits achieved from harmonious coexistence with nature, such as human health, well-being, and opportunities for childhood education (Fuller et al. 2007;Lee and Maheswaran 2011). These co-benefits support the notion of developing 'more-than-human cities' (Steele, Wiesel, and Maller 2019). For this to be a reality, urban green spaces in cities need to be carefully planned and designed, so that human-wildlife interactions, as well as the city's liveability, can be enhanced. ...
Article
Full-text available
Urban landscapes have the potential to conserve wildlife. Despite increasing recognition of this potential, there are few collaborative efforts to integrate ecology and conservation principles into context-dependent, spatial and actionable design strategies. To address this issue and to encourage multi-disciplinary research on urban human–wildlife interactions, we ask the following questions. To what extent should design and planning actions be aligned with urban ecology in the context of a compact city? How can wildlife conservation meet the seemingly conflictual demands of urban development and public preference? To answer these questions, we refer to the relevant literature and a number of design projects. Using the compact tropical city of Singapore as a case study, we propose 12 design strategies. We encourage designers and planners to strengthen the links between wildlife and urban dwellers and promote wildlife conservation within cities.
... … places are also remembered, experienced, felt, discussed and imagined' (Aisher and Damodoran, 2016: 294, 299). Much of this multispecies place-making involves struggles for control and negotiations of acceptable levels of risk, but at times what emerges from this 'throwntogetherness' (Crevani, 2019) are novel expressions of kinship and ways of being well together in multispecies neighourhoods (Acampora, 2004;Houston et al., 2018;Steele, Wiesel, and Maller, 2019). ...
Article
When images of coyotes in North American cities first made the news in the 2000s, they were widely understood to show a wild animal out of place. The coyote in such images served as the natural pole on a nature-culture continuum and the city served as the cultural pole, thus reinforcing the idea that humans and wild predators inhabit categorically different worlds, spatially and ecologically. However, the ubiquity of smart phones and the growing abundance of urban coyotes have since led to a proliferation on social media of images that reveal coyotes as residing in urban settings as opposed to being lost in them. Such images drive processes of multispecies place-making that involve struggles for control and negotiations of acceptable levels of risk, but also give rise to novel expressions of kinship and ways of being well together in multispecies neighbourhoods. Using visual methods, this chapter weaves together insights from human-animal studies, new materialist thinking, and work within organization studies on space to better understand how multispecies place-making remakes urban locations though practices of accommodation. It asks not what images of urban coyotes show, but what they do; how such images do not just represent space and place, but how the joint activities of coyotes and humans (and their companion dogs) made visible on social media are remaking neighbourhood parks in San Francisco and Philadelphia as places that accommodate coyotes as fellow urban dwellers.
... More-than-human theories and Indigenous perspectives can be summarised as approaches that study, understand and experience the world in more embodied, relational and ethical ways, rather than the human-centred, scientific rationalist approaches dominating western thinking. There is a growing literature on both morethan-human theories and Indigenous knowledge that explains their contributions in more detail (see Bawaka Country et al., 2013;Bell et al., 2018;Maller, 2018Maller, , 2021Robertson, 2018;Steele et al., 2019;Tynan, 2021;Whatmore, 2006). I now home in on one of the most substantially applied strands of recent western relational theory I consider 'more-than-human': theories of social practice. ...
Article
This special feature concerns understanding human‐nature relations through the lens of values to comprehend how values of the natural world connect with wider processes of change, action and transformation in social‐ecological systems. The relationships between values and action have preoccupied several disciplines and multiple discourses concerned with implementing change, including sustainability and health, and conservation. Focusing on the conceptual underpinnings of how values, action and change are generally understood, this paper proposes an alternate view informed by more‐than‐human thinking and theories of social practices. In doing so, it aims to closely scrutinise the relationship between values and actions in the context of creating transformative change. In highlighting this relationship and presenting some different ways to understand it, the paper aims to contribute to deepening understanding of how to relate to, value and act for nature and how this might be encouraged. One of the most common pathways assumed to generate action is based on the idea that action is driven by values, and that in order to change action, we therefore need to change values. The paper questions the assumed relationship between values and actions and its direction, and instead posits that beginning with actions is a more productive place to start. To work through these ideas, I introduce more‐than‐human theories, focusing on theories of social practice, to discuss how these theories can change how values and actions are conceptualised, how the relationships between them can be understood, and what these ideas can mean for rethinking how to achieve social‐ecological change. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
... Traditional dialogues around managing urban natures remain resolutely anthropocentric, encountering nonhumans as inert matteras bodies that become impacted by human decisionmaking practices, but are rarely seen to actively participate in shared understandings, practices, or cultures (Gibbs, 2020;Metzger, 2016;Steele et al., 2019). To combat this anthropocentrism, efforts within animal geographies and broader fields of animal and multispecies studies endeavour to engage animals 1 as actors within ecological, socio-spatial, and politico-ethical realms. ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent efforts within geography to deconstruct anthropocentric readings of the urban and explore the city as ‘multispecies’ or ‘more-than-human’ face substantial methodological challenges. This paper contributes an empirical case study of human-coyote urban cohabitations in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, using a ‘hybrid’ methodological approach to individual animal geographies. It builds on dialogues surrounding animals’ geographies that centre individual animal lifeworlds and experiences, exploring coyotes as subjects and actors who participate in the co-creation of shared urban worlds. A methodological approach based on collaboration and storying recounts the tales of two coyotes – Urban10 and Blondie – and their kin whose stories are gleaned by weaving together diverse social and ecological research tools, including: participant observation with Coyote Watch Canada, document review, semi-structured interviews, GPS collar data, field investigations, ethological observations, and trail cameras. The discussion details implications in terms of cynanthropy – ‘becoming-canid’ as methodology, delving into coyote lifeworlds using hybrid tools – as well as synanthropy – coyote synurbization and more-than-human urban belongings. Dwelling with Urban10 and Blondie in cynanthropic exploration makes visible opportunities for multispecies researchers to generate knowledge collaboratively with other-than-humans. Findings surrounding synanthropy highlight the practices involved in adapting to and participating, ecologically and socially, in life in the multispecies city. Overall, this paper advances efforts aimed at developing innovative and experimental hybrid methodologies for animal geographies, and theoretical discussions around re-storying the more-than-human city towards livable multispecies futures.
... MSJ compels us to nurture response-abilities toward "others" with whom we are bound together, visibly or not, in everyday practices of production, consumption, and reproduction. This entails "entangled empathy" (Gruen, 2015), such as truly seeing homelessness, minorities, and threatened animals and plants in our cities (Steele et al., 2019). We may learn to respect the agency of the non-human realm (Watene, 2016;Winter, 2019), appreciate our own interdependency with critters like ants and worms as we collectively build common worlds together (Taylor & Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2015) and develop relationally attuned pedagogies (Verlie, 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
In 2019, the climate emergency entered mainstream debates. The normative frame of climate justice as conceived in academia, policy arenas, and grassroots action, although imperative and growing in popularity across climate movements, is no longer adequate to address this emergency. This is for two reasons: first, as a framing for the problem, current notions of climate justice are insufficient to overcome the persistent silencing of voices belonging to multiple “others”; and second, they do not question, and thus implicitly condone, human exceptionalism and the violence it enacts, historically and in this era of the Anthropocene. Therefore, we advocate for the concept of multispecies justice to enrich climate justice in order to more effectively confront the climate crisis. The advantage of reconceptualizing climate justice in this way is that it becomes more inclusive; it acknowledges the differential histories and practices of social, environmental, and ecological harm, while opening just pathways into uncertain futures. A multispecies justice lens expands climate justice by decentering the human and by recognizing the everyday interactions that bind individuals and societies to networks of close and distant others, including other people and more‐than‐human beings. Such a relational lens provides a vital scientific, practical, material, and ethical road map for navigating the complex responsibilities and politics in the climate crisis. Most importantly, it delineates what genuine flourishing could mean, what systemic transformations may involve (and with whom), how to live with inevitable and possibly intolerable losses, and how to prefigure and enact alternative and just futures. This article is categorized under: • Climate, Nature, and Ethics > Climate Change and Global Justice Abstract Navigating multispecies justice toward climate‐just futures.
... Central to realizing multispecies approaches to urbanism, planning or governance is understanding urban terrains as assemblages of human and more-than-human actors that influence the circulation and trajectory of political networks (McFarlane 2009;Celermajer et al., 2020). A multispecies approach thus recognizes these connections and centers the knowledge of more-than-human stakeholders to move beyond a logic of control, security or safety toward one of mutual appreciation and reciprocity (Steele et al., 2019). This may require the consideration of different temporal scales as well as novel strategies for attunement and co-envisioning futures. ...
Article
Full-text available
As global urbanization accelerates, cities have become increasingly complex and hybridized, and host to novel urban landscape forms such as informal greenspaces or novel ecosystems that support ruderal and spontaneous vegetation. Researchers have documented the ecosystem services or benefits these systems provide, as well as the tradeoffs or disservices associated with biotic globalization. Despite evidence of their co-benefits, fragmented knowledge and biased views of these novel ecological forms contributes to an underestimation of their social-ecological role and potential for serving as a model for resilient and nature-based urban design and planning. The social-ecological systems discourse has improved understanding of these emerging conditions, yet may benefit from an attunement to a multispecies perspective, an ecosystem-based approach to urban planning and governance that recognizes the interdependencies of humans and other organisms. This article explores the potential social-ecological role of ruderal landscapes in facilitating this transition, referred to as ruderal resilience, as well as recent research in SES and resilience theory that may help advance concepts such as multispecies urbanism and planning. The aim is to consider the potential for spontaneous ecological self-organization to serve as a device for reinvigorating relationships with urban ecological commons and advancing social-ecological systems theory.
... I should note that whilst the age-relationality framework appears very valuable in highlighting many aspects which should be included in any relational analysis of the ageing process, this framework does not readily lead us to consider other types of relations, for instance, interactions with the more-than-human (Whatmore 2002;Power 2008;Steele et al. 2019). Ageing is a process linked with a range of other processes, resources and conditions, including individual health and socioeconomic status, health care infrastructure and the condition of the local natural and built environments. ...
Book
‘Translocal Ageing in the Global East is an impressive mix of theory, ethnography, and policy critique. The book is about the everyday lives of Bulgaria’s “greatest generation”—children of the inter-war and World War II periods—who managed to adjust and thrive through five decades of state socialism. Iossifova is not only a talented researcher, but also a brilliant writer with a strong inclination for investigative journalism. Her urban and architectural expertise allows additional insights into how physical space can be reformed to at least partially alleviate the severe hardships that characterize the lives of Bulgaria’s elderly. This is an important book on an important topic: how to allow the world’s growing aging population to live with dignity.’ —Sonia A. Hirt, Hughes Professor in Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Georgia‘Iossifova offers an evocative and authoritative analysis of the everyday experience of ageing in the “global east” country of Bulgaria. Challenging “western” concepts such as ageing in place and highlighting the resilience and adaptive capacities of older people for whom change has been the one constant in their lives, it is a must-read for all researchers and students interested in the social dimensions of ageing.’ —Tim Schwanen, Professor of Transport Studies and Geography, TSU Director, University of Oxford ‘This book draws on the lifecourse stories of older people living in Bulgaria’s rapidly growing capital city and depopulating countryside. Iossifova goes beyond urban-rural comparisons, tracing the role of household practices, state policies, and economic hardship in these translocal geographies of ageing. With clarity and empathy, the book examines how political and economic turmoil transformed a generation’s expectations and experiences of older age. It represents an excellent resource not only for readers interested in ageing, but for those looking to learn about contemporary Bulgarian society more broadly.’ —Dr Anna Plyushteva, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford Dr Deljana Iossifova is Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Manchester and Chair of the Urban Studies Foundation.
... Baynes-Rock, 2013;Danby et al., 2019;Filipovic, 2019;Franklin, 2017;Ginn, 2014;Hohti and Tammio, 2019;Houston et al., 2018;Kirksey et al., 2018;Lorimer, 2015;McKiernan and Instone, 2016;Panelli, 2010;Phillips, 2019;Power, 2009;Rigby, 2018;Rutherford, 2018;Steele et al., 2019;Van Patter and Hovorka, 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of literature is concerned with ‘healing’ our cities, fostering an ethic of care for urban nature and creating more socially and environmentally just cities. At the same time, urban biodiversity is the focus of an increasing number of projects at multiple scales. However, in contrast to the ethos of multispecies ‘entanglement’ and ‘becoming with’ that typically animates this research, large numbers of animals ‘entangled’ in the machinations of our cities constitute a ‘nature’ that remains mostly unseen. And yet, it is the local and global practices these animals are part of – associated with food, entertainment, education, companionship and research – and the persistent relations of use and exploitation that underpin them, that are most directly implicated in the ongoing environmental degradation, destruction of habitats and extinction of species that create the ‘problem’ of urban biodiversity. We therefore argue that a persistent anthropocentrism is hampering efforts to respond effectively to the findings and recommendations of the IPCC, IPBES, FAO and others. Based on a thorough literature search and review of 65 articles concerned with urban ‘nature’ and multispecies relations, we demonstrate a prevailing hierarchy in how, and more importantly which, nonhuman species are being represented. Parallels are noted from recent social movements and the work of scholars from complementary fields. We highlight the dangers posed by this selective remit of care and concern and suggest critical animal studies as a way to adjust the frame and extend the boundaries of dominant thinking about what constitutes ‘nature’. In conclusion, we call for researchers concerned with urban nature and biodiversity to adopt more critical and repoliticized understandings of ‘nature’ and multispecies relations – ones that are better poised to challenge practices involving commodified animals and slow the pace of environmental destructions and losses they are associated with.
... s are not. Empathy, particularly for the unseen, offers an opportunity to recognize what is seen and what is not, enacting responsibility for our entanglement with more-than-human entities and acknowledgment of ontological notions, and to "honor the roles that Others, including non-human beings, play in our everyday lives" (Tschaket, 2020, p. 287).Steele et al. (2019) took the position that, through empathic imaginings, one can acknowledge experiences, for instance, of the more-than-human, and through this lens be able to harness an empathic understanding of the unseen entities' experiences. For human participants' well-being and protection throughout the semi-structured interviews, the Prescott Coll ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This dissertation details a doctoral research project that considered how embodied experience to place and the more-than-human world within the Florida Everglades might influence the existent entanglements of human-nature connectedness. I explored my immersive connection to place and experience with the more-than-human through a multi-methodological approach. Applying multiple data collection tools such as participant-observation of human and the more-than-human, walking, purposeful sitting by the water, kayaking, and multimedia channels, I captured irrevocable moments in time and space within the Florida Everglades. Withal, through semi-structured interviews, I conversed with representatives of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. With this dissertation deliverable, I provide the reader with an introduction to the complexities of the matter, a contextual understanding of the subject, research question and subclass questions, research methodologies, and methods that prompted and supported the proposed research project. Further, I present the ongoing entangled emergence of themes and subthemes such as awe, connection, colonialism, power relations and utilitarian biophilic typology.
... This in turn will imply the inclusion and emancipation of humans and nonhumans as part of citymaking. Justice is an important concept that provides a conceptual and operational benchmark; it guides humans with principles that are grounded by an ethics of what is good or bad, right or wrong (Wienhues 2020), albeit with an ethics of reciprocity, respect, care and compassion (Strang 2017, Steele et al. 2019. However, for planning to have a contribution to procuring fairness, equality and justice, we need to ensure that abstract theories of justice have practical applicability in the particularities of everyday community experiences, practices and contexts that regulate, shape, and enable new forms of organisation and governance (Campbell and Marshall 2006). ...
Article
This paper presents a typology of ecological injustice hotspots for targeted design of nature-based solutions to guide planning and designing of just cities. The typology demonstrates how the needs and capabilities of nonhuman nature can be embedded within transitions to multi- and interspecies relational futures that regenerate and protect urban social-ecological systems. We synthesise the findings of previous quantitative and qualitative analyses to develop the Ecologically Just Cities Framework that (1) works as a diagnostic tool to characterise four types of urban ecological injustices and (2) identifies nature-based planning actions that can best respond to different types of place-based ecological injustices.
... In the wake of calls to develop a 'more-thanhuman' urban geography (Braun, 2005), the presence of animals in cities has attracted increasing and deserved attention from urban scholars (e.g. Arcari et al., 2020;Franklin, 2017;Holmberg, 2013;Houston, 2019;Steele et al., 2019). Although some of this work positions non-human animals as present in cities only to the extent that they are permitted by humans (e.g. as domesticated pets, working animals or sources of food), an emerging body of work on urban animal geographies has emphasised that animals can be active and resourceful urban agents (Barua and Sinha, 2017;Davies and Brooks, 2019;Hodgetts and Lorimer, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Urban gentrification debates are essentially anthropocentric, ignoring how the presence of animals at the gentrification frontier can promote or oppose capital accumulation. By way of corrective, this article reviews geographical work on the relations of human and non-human animals in gentrifying neighbourhoods, arguing for a trans-species perspective on urban gentrification that considers the different ways animals are caught up in gentrification struggles. Noting that gentrification sometimes involves the violent and unjust displacement of non-human animals, the article concludes by arguing that anti-gentrification discourse might usefully place more emphasis on the animal ‘right to the city’.
Article
Full-text available
Over the last century, under the modern hydraulic model, waterways across the world have been heavily canalized and culverted, driven into underground pipes, drains and sewers. This hydraulic approach has hardwired an isolated water network into the urban fabric, fragmenting erstwhile patterns and dynamics of life, both human and nonhuman. Ecologically, it has been hugely damaging, reducing water quality and biotic diversity, but also socially, disconnecting citizens from the waterways that service and characterize the city. Consequently, since the 1990s, waterway restoration has become widespread as a design solution to degraded rivers and streams, reinstating compromised hydrological, geomorphological and ecological processes. Deculverting or ‘daylighting’, the focus of this paper, is a radical form of restoration, opening up subterranean, culverted waterways often forgotten by communities above ground. Yet, as this paper emphasizes, waterway restoration has tended to privilege ecological over social objectives, while public engagement in project conceptualization has been limited, conducted ‘downstream’ subsequent to planning and design stages. Restoration schemes have therefore tended to reflect the concerns of professionals rather than communities, overlooking their potential for social renewal and change. Drawing on workshop data collected through participatory mapping exercises, this paper explores the case for daylighting a culverted brook in Urmston, Greater Manchester, focusing in particular on the preferences, concerns and knowledge of local residents. The paper compares professional and community perspectives on the preferred scheme design and potential benefits of daylighting, drawing out differences and tensions between them, temporarily ‘unblackboxing’ the brook. It is ventured that daylighting can unleash the social ‘stickiness’ of water, its proclivity to draw and bind together, to revitalize the park, enhancing connection to wildness, attachment to place and sense of community. This is particularly crucial in the face of decreased local authority funding and related crises in park management.
Article
Cities in the Global South are quintessential sites for climate adaptation; many are rapidly expanding, struggle with increasing inequalities and experience unprecedented harm from climatic extremes. Despite scholarly recognition that adaptation pathways should reduce multidimensional vulnerabilities and inequalities, current adaptation efforts largely preserve the status quo. Many benefit powerful actors while further entrenching the poor and disadvantaged in cycles of dispossession. We bring together scholarship on adaptation pathways, politics and practice to deconstruct adaptation trajectories. We propose three conceptual steps – acknowledging injustices, embracing deliberation and nurturing responsibility for human and more-than-human others – to chart inclusive pathways towards just climate futures.
Article
The climate emergency demands that principles and practices of justice and injustice, harm, loss, suffering, and hope are revisited, to encompass both the human and the natural world and the many interconnections between them. Following work on the Unknown Other in climate justice discourse, I examine a relational space of proximity, empathy, and responsibility across human and non-human Others to advance current understandings of multispecies justice. Via four types of encounters – the visual, the embodied, the ethical, and the political – it is possible to engage in empathetic experiences with and enact responsibility toward infinite other beings and confront layers of shared vulnerabilities and histories of silencing and erasures. These encounters across space and time make tangible what a nature of human and more-than-human togetherness and solidarity may look like and what ethics and politics would be required to overcome untenable human exceptionalism in today’s crises.
Article
Full-text available
Multispecies entanglement has been a major research focus in environmental humanities, aiming to rethink ontological and ethical possibilities, especially in urban settings, by attending to speculative other-than-human futures. This article dwells on already existing entanglements of multiple species of animals in Los Angeles, using empirical data (conversations from the social media platform Nextdoor) to describe these entanglements according to a fourfold framework—spatial, emotional, behavioral, and political. Drawing on the political philosophy of nondomination, it argues that existing entanglements are primarily arbitrary in a political sense, and that moving beyond them will require reducing this arbitrariness, even it if it means restricting human freedom or introducing new forms of control over animals, for a more-than-human city to be just.
Article
Different ways of thinking and understanding urban problems and imagining solutions are needed to redress the suite of serious challenges facing cities. Focusing on urban nature, this conceptual paper begins from the standpoint that nature-based solutions (NBS) could help remake cities as places for more than just people; in other words, cities could encourage the flourishing of multiple species and ecosystems, including but not limited to, humans. Although cities were once considered ‘biodiversity wastelands’, they are now recognised as providing important habitat. However, NBS have been plagued by criticisms of anthropocentrism whereby human needs are prioritised over those of other species and ecosystems. To overcome this problem, the paper provides an outline of more-than-human thinking and suggests how relational concepts can help NBS move beyond an inherent anthropocentrism, and also begins to work through some of the complexities of making this shift. More-than-human thinking and theories have arisen in several disciplines, but despite a considerable presence in the literature, they have not yet been brought into conversation with NBS. The paper concludes that more-than-human thinking can generate deeper understanding of the interdependencies between all the entities that comprise cities, such that more inclusive NBS could be implemented.
Article
This article reassesses the influence of gothic design principles on twentieth century urbanism and considers their contemporary import. The paper elucidates how William Morris’s gothic design philosophy, which inspired two major strains of contemporary urbanism, became detached from its radical politics as it migrated from England to the United States. Architectural modernism came to dominate urban design, characterized in opposition to gothic principles, and aligned with capitalist production. Modern architects championed and fetishized machine aesthetics, which were applied to urban-scale design with ambiguous consequences. The scaling of design principles between objects, buildings and cities has been a prominent yet neglected aspect of twentieth century urbanism, requiring greater critical attention. The paper articulates a defense of “gothic ontology”, not as neo-revivalist style but type of praxis. It is contended that three gothic design imperatives - aesthetics of labour, politics of making and vitality of ecology – are resurgent in urban thought today.
Article
This article critically reflects on contemporary discussions of human-nonhuman relations and their consequences for ecological politics. Recent critiques push back against popular ‘nonhuman turn’ appeals to ‘decentre’ humans and downplay distinctions between humans and nonhumans. The article seeks to both extend and nuance these critiques by emphasising how uneven developments from colonial to digital platform capitalism have intensified historical processes of alienation between humans and the rest of nature. This focus contextualises the nonhuman turn as a response to increasingly alienated forms of entanglement, which may hamper rather than enable challenging contemporary forms of domination. To address this, two conceptual shifts are proposed. First, a shift away from ‘decentring the human’ to a dialectics between more-than-human and ‘less-than-human’. This move emphasises how forms of capitalist domination continue to diminish (certain) humans and nonhumans and how challenging this requires pivoting between de- and recentring humans where needed. Second, a shift from ‘more-than-human’ to ‘more-than-life’, to emphasise how through extremely uneven histories of capitalist development the intensification of alienation has led to growing tensions between ontological relationality and epistemological and practical distinctions.
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite benefits for human civilization, urbanization has brought an enormous consequence to non-human species. Multispecies planning is a potential solution in response to increasingly insensitive urban planning to non-human species. This paper aims to understand the link between a national regulatory framework and its outcome in terms of urban spatial plan from multispecies planning point of view using indicators such as from protected forest to natural reserve and from ecological corridors to private yards. It examines whether the existing regulatory framework is an obstacle to the practice and implementation of multispecies planning ideas in a city. We employ a content analysis to assess 18 laws and policies at the national level. We also utilize a case study to test the spatial plan outcome in two areas in Indonesia, namely the city of Semarang (Central Java) and Barito Utara Regency (Central Borneo), in which also involve additional content analysis of 4 local regulations accordingly. The study successfully maps out the extent of relative emphasis of each multispecies urban planning indicators according to Indonesian national regulatory frameworks. The study also reveals that regulatory frameworks at the national level do not really determine multispecies urban planning practices at the local level, nor does the status of biodiversity assets owned by a city or region. Improving the literacy of planners, planning committee, and other key decision makers in multispecies planning is pivotal and warrants a further investigation.
Article
The field of urban studies has scrutinised digital technologies and their proliferation, but rather little attention has been paid to databases. Furthermore, contributions to date have focused almost exclusively on how digital technologies interface with human populations in cities. By contrast, we draw attention to databases maintained by city governments that contain identifying information about pet dogs and their legal owners in cities. Methodologically, our study merges database ethnography with multi-species ethnography. Conceptually, we contend that “dog data” contribute to orderly conduct in urban space. This orientation to urban governance illustrates “trans-biopolitics,” in the sense of socially-situated and technologically-mediated power relations that operate through multi-species entanglements. As such, this article extends the literature on (neoliberal) urban policing by providing a fine-grained analysis of how emergent forms of social control become palpable. In general terms, the adoption and use of digital technologies by city governments has increased their capacity to enforce rules and regulations. Overall, we find that the more legible dogs and their legal owners become in databases, the more governable both dogs and people become in urban life.
Chapter
With the Situationist International movement's history in mind, this chapter offers a critical look at spatial data applications in urban informatics and urban science. It draws on an empirical investigation into location awareness and the politics of spatial data, which explored both end‐user and industry/government perceptions of location‐based services and the digital platforms providing them. In keeping with the focus on contentions of the software‐sorted city, the chapter discusses three broad themes: big data versus thick data, data privacy, and data sovereignty. Big data and advancement of analytical tools to make sense of these data create the illusion of knowing everything about everyone, specifically in regards to urban development and smart cities. Pioneering good data practices is significant as many jurisdictions across the world embrace both national smart city strategies and a data‐driven economy.
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The CP 591 Research Seminar course, aims at providing graduate students of skills how different “real/actual urban issues” are inquired into, and according to which approaches actual research is designed. In this scope, my research proposal work focuses on the ecocide implemented by large-scale projects, and I present the displacement of non-human animal species as an invisible part in a research proposal.
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, the interest in social innovation and nature-based solutions has spread in scientific articles, and they are increasingly deployed for cities’ strategic planning. In this scenario, participatory approaches become pivotal to engaging the population and stakeholders in the decision-making process. In this paper, we reflect on the first year’s results and the strengths and weaknesses—of the participatory activities realized in Lucca to co-design and co-deploy a smart city based on human–animal relationships in the framework of the European project Horizon 2020 (IN-HABIT). Human–animal bonds, as nature-based solutions, are scientifically and practically underestimated. Data were collected on the activities organized to implement a public–private–people partnership in co-designing infrastructural solutions (so-called Animal Lines) and soft nature-based solutions to be implemented in the city. Stakeholders actively engaged in mutual discussions with great enthusiasm, and the emergent ideas (the need to improve people’s knowledge of animals and develop a map showing pet-friendly services and places and the need for integration to create innovative pet services) were copious and different while showing many connections among the various points of view. At the same time, a deeper reflection on the relationships among the participatory activities and institutionally integrated arrangements also emerged.
Article
In this paper, we examine the controversy over the use of urban green spaces and water bodies by Egyptian geese in the German city of Frankfurt am Main as an example of more-than-human political conflicts over the right to an environmentally just city. Specifically, we analyze the media discourse and interviews that we conducted as multispecies go-alongs to identify how othering in media and policy constitutes Egyptian geese legally and discursively as “alien, invasive, and aggressive” as well as “disgusting, polluting, and health-threatening.” This othering constructs Egyptian geese as abject animals and justifies their governing through “geese management” technologies, ranging from monitoring to atmospheric engineering and to killing the birds. While the management objective is to displace the Egyptian geese from urban spaces dedicated for human recreation, these spaces also turn out to be places of animal resistance.
Article
This paper develops an agenda for a broadened conceptualisation of urban caring within geographical research. We open by identifying three existing domains of urban care research: examining spaces of care, materialities of care, and asking who are the subjects of care? We then synthesise three platforms that can be the foundation of a geographical theory and approach to urban care. Drawing from feminist care research and recent keystone pieces on urban caring, we argue, first, that there is a need for a broadened conceptualisation of urban care that emphasises the universal need for care and care that supports human and non‐human flourishing. Second, we propose an expanded scale of urban care analysis that attends to the ways that lives are lived within and through the city. Third, we open up an analysis of where care is located in cities, arguing for the value of locating urban care beyond interpersonal care and care through welfare, to urban governance and planning, markets, and more‐than‐human materialities. We conclude by conceptualising how care might inform utopian dreamings for the just and caring city. We challenge urban geographers to think through the possibilities of care to transform cities.
Article
Full-text available
Much planning theory has been undergirded by an ontological exceptionalism of humans. Yet, city planning does not sit outside of the eco-social realities co-producing the Anthropocene. Urban planners and scholars, therefore, need to think carefully and critically about who speaks for (and with) the nonhuman in place making. In this article, we identify two fruitful directions for planning theory to better engage with the imbricated nature of humans and nonhumans is recognised as characteristic of the Anthropocene – multispecies entanglements and becoming-world. Drawing on the more-than-human literature in urban and cultural geography and the environmental humanities, we consider how these terms offer new possibilities for productively rethinking the ontological exceptionalism of humans in planning theory. We critically explore how planning theory might develop inclusive, ethical relationships that can nurture possibilities for multispecies flourishing in diverse urban futures, the futures that are increasingly recognised as co-produced by nonhuman agents in the context of climate variability and change. This, we argue, is critical for developing climate-adaptive planning tools and narratives for the creation of socially and environmentally just multispecies cities.
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues that colonial biopolitics and informality co-produce a ‘state of exception' for nonhuman animals in cities, based on the socio-political construct of a human/animal binary. This state is enacted by exceptionalising animals as not-persons, and humans as not-animals, and through urbanisation, a uniquely human claim on land. ‘Colonial' is understood in an anthropocentric sense of (privileged) human imperialism over nonhumans and poor humans. Informality, a carefully produced condition that is exceptional to formal governance and planning, legitimises the view of animals (and poor humans) as ‘trespassers' in urban spaces. This paper examines street canines in Indian cities, demonstrating their marginalisation and eviction at the intersection of colonialism and informality. Last, this paper builds upon ‘subaltern urbanism’ that recognises the agency inherent in marginalised citizens and spaces, to conceptualise ‘subaltern animism’ as a way of acknowledging animal spaces and citizenship in the city.
Article
Full-text available
The anthropological machine is the discursive framework, the dispositif that grounds “Western man” in a sense of civility, secured through a violent division within and between the human and nonhuman: not the after-effect of the civilizing act but its very foundation. This paper explores Agamben’s machine at multiple sites: in its expression in everyday lives of urban citizens, and its legitimation of capitalist urbanization on broader spatial and temporal scales, its “worlding” through planetary urbanization and normalization of climate change. Complicit in capitalist urbanization and climate change, the anthropological machine has acted as a “switch point” since the 1600s. It now frames an emergent response: triage as the inevitable sacrifice of some peoples and parts of the planet to preserve others. If the urban is to become the site of mondialization, confronting the apparent inevitability of triage we must think beyond the either-or of a people or a planet. Thought in relation to the urban, the anthropological machine offers a meeting ground between urban political economy and assemblage urbanism. It enables us to situate the Anthropocene and differentiate the urban. But it also exposes a deep divide between scholars reframing the human beyond “Western man”: between those for whom the more-than-human expresses the dreams of a biophilic city and those for whom the less-than-human is increasingly its living nightmare.
Article
Full-text available
This article explores how affective relationships between humans and animals are understood and experienced. It argues that, although the context of close relationships with pets has changed, affective relationships between humans and animals have a long history. The affinities between people and their pets are experienced as emotionally close, embodied and ethereal and are deeply embedded in family lives. They are understood in terms of kinship, an idiom which indicates significant and enduring connectedness between humans and animals, and are valued because of animals' differences from, as well as similarities to, humans. Kinship across the species barrier is not something new and strange, but is an everyday experience of those humans who share their domestic space with other animals. Rather than witnessing a new phenomenon of post-human families, multi-species households have been with us for a considerable length of time but have been effectively hidden from sociology by the so-called species barrier.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we examine attempts to reframe the ethics of nature-society relations. We trace a postmodern turn which reflects a distrust of overarching moral codes and narratives and points towards a more nuanced understanding of how personal moral impulses are embedded within, and inter-subjectively constituted by, contextual configurations of self and other. We also trace an ethical turn which reflects a critique of anthropocentrism and points towards moves to non-anthropocentric frames in which the othernesses and ethics of difference are shaped by an acknowledgement that human and non-human agency are relationally bound and assembled in networks and places. These turns suggest the need for a more sensitive 'ethical mindfulness' which is grounded in particular space-time contexts. Throughout the paper we draw on research we have conducted on the interconnections between trees and places, and in particular we describe three specific tree-places--an urban square, an urban cemetery and an orchard--which provide grounded contexts of encounter and potential for ethical mindedness. We conclude that notions of intrinsicality, otherness, enchantment and hybridity are helpful in configuring the search for grounded ethical mindfulness, both for and in nature.
Article
In a period when care is being cast as an individual responsibility there is a need to invigorate analyses of caring capacity, of the factors and relations that make care possible. This paper develops caring-with as an analytic to guide analyses of caring capacity. Caring-with brings feminist care ethics together with assemblage thinking. It innovates from Tronto's identification of “caring with” as the fifth phase of care to figure care as a generative sociomaterial relation that is productive of and emergent through assemblages of actors who are not always supportive of care. Caring-with advances three frames for conceptualising caring capacity. First, caring-with situates care in a sociomaterial and performative frame. Second, it places care in a temporal frame, speaking to the historical and generative depth of relations that are the foundation and future of care. Third, it theorises the production and translation of care across space. These concepts are empirically examined through the caring experiences of single older women living in precarious housing in Sydney, Australia. Interviews with these women show how housing assemblages shape the emergent potential for care, co-constituting the capacity for individuals to take part in caring practices (for self and others) and to achieve basic care needs (including needs for food, energy, and appropriate housing). Caring-with provides a framework for conceptualising caring capacity in unequal worlds and illuminates the adaptive and creative agencies that generate and hold care together. It also points to new ways of conceptualising caring responsibility as a distributed achievement. Finally, caring-with suggests an approach to conceptualising housing within care research. The information, practices and views in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). © 2019 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
Article
Feminist theorists in geography and beyond have long been calling for an ethic of care to be considered alongside justice as a normative ideal that can assist us in repairing our world. In urban theory this call has largely remained unheard as an ethic of care remains absent from theorisations of what comprises a just city. In this paper I argue for care to be considered alongside justice as an equally important ethic in our search for justice in the city. I develop the concept of care-full justice, which assists us in negotiating the inherent tension between the normative and situated in the search for the ideals, and actually existing expressions, of justice and care in the city. I demonstrate the generative potential of this concept and argue that it enables us to re-think what cities can be and to reveal times and places where this is the case.
Article
Drawing on oral histories conducted with the Cleveland Homeless Oral History project between 1999 and 2005, the article addresses the unhoused interviewees’ overwhelming sense of being immobile. This understanding spoke both to the reality of being restricted to shelters, but it also spoke to the larger feeling of being stuck and unable to escape their predicament. This subjective sense was belied by their everyday reality of constant movement. The article explores the disjuncture between the rhetoric and the embodied practice of movement and stillness. While the rhetoric of immobility spoke to their understanding of oppression, and served as a ‘mobilizing’ language, their resistance frequently involved establishing dwelling spaces in places where they were unwanted. In the context of homelessness in the twenty-first century, the very practice of dwelling can be a radical act through which the unhoused build power by laying claim to home.
Chapter
Book synopsis: New Materialisms rethinks the relevance of materialist philosophy in the midst of a world shaped by forces such as digital and biotechnologies, global warming, global capital, and population flows. Moving away from modes of inquiry that have prioritized the study of consciousness and subjectivity over matter, the essays in this collection show that any account of experience, agency, and political action demands renewed attention to the urgent issues of our own material existence and our environment. The editors propose “new materialisms” as a way to take matter seriously without falling into the conceptual dualism that posits an opposition between matter and thought, materialism and idealism, and body and mind. They locate new materialisms within post-humanist discourses, explaining that new materialist philosophies do not privilege human bodies, but rather view human bodies as one of many bodies, or agential materialities, in the world. By revealing how emerging accounts of matter, materiality, and corporeality are combining with developments in science and technology to demand radically new conceptions of nature, agency, and social and political relationships, New Materialisms makes a significant contribution to the recent resurgence of interest in phenomenology and materialist philosophy in the humanities.
Article
This paper focuses on the possibilities of the material imagination as a theoretical and practical lens for contemporary housing research. The emphasis is on housing/home as complex material cultural assemblages interwoven across the four key ancient elements: earth, air, fire and water. The principle behind the material imagination is that “matter” – which we are immersed in and indeed ourselves composed of – is important, indeed underpins everything, and yet is typically rendered invisible within housing theory and research. As a critical response to social scientific engagement – “a needed radical corrective” – the potential of the material imagination for housing theory and practice is considered in ways that purposively attend to the elemental dimensions of housing as dynamic, fluid environments comprised of living matter. Suggestions for taking this approach forward through empirical housing studies are outlined.
Article
In the last 25 years, several philosophers and scientists have challenged the historical consensus that nonhuman animals cannot be moral agents. In this article, I examine this challenge and the debate it has provoked. Advocates of animal moral agency have supported their claims by appealing to non-rationalist accounts of morality and to observations of animal behavior. Critics have focused on the dangers of anthropomorphism and have argued that we cannot know animals' states of mind with any certainty. Despite the strengths of the arguments for animal moral agency, the critics' skeptical counter-challenges seem to bring this debate to a stalemate. However, I suggest that recent philosophical work focusing on personal experiences with animals may reveal a way to dissolve skeptical concerns and offer new insights about the role of animals in morality.
Article
This paper surveys the return to materialist concerns in the work of a new generation of cultural geographers informed by their engagements with science and technology studies and performance studies, on the one hand, and by their worldly involvements in the politically charged climate of relations between science and society on the other. It argues that these efforts centre on new ways of approaching the vital nexus between the bio (life) and the geo (earth), or the ‘livingness’ of the world, in a context in which the modality of life is politically and technologically molten. It identifies some of the major innovations in theory, style and application associated with this work and some of the key challenges that it poses for the practice of cultural geography. Thinking is neither a line drawn between subject and object nor a revolving of one around the other. Rather thinking takes place in the relationship of territory and earth... involving a gradual but thorough displacement from text to territory.
Article
The literature examining the relationship between homeless individuals and companion animals is scarce. To date there are only five published studies, none of which explore this issue within a Canadian context or from the perspectives of women living in homeless shelters. The benefits of companion animals with respect to enhancing the psychological and physiological well-being of their owners have been well documented. This paper examines the nature of animal caretaking among female, homeless shelter residents in Canada. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 51 women from homeless shelters located in six urban centers across Canada (Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver) and two key informant interviews with homeless shelter administrators who facilitated space for animal companions. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis techniques. Homeless women described being comforted by companion animals and the pain of being forced to relinquish them. Most pet owners reported having to surrender a pet. Eight themes emerged regarding the role animals played in the lives of homeless women: (a) providing companionship, (b) unconditional acceptance, (c) providing comfort, (d) providing a sense of responsibility, (e) the health and therapeutic values of companion animals, (f) providing a sense of safety, (g) loss, as well as (h) empathy towards the homeless women sharing shelter space who may not share the affinity for animals or may have health consequences such as allergies. The majority of women supported shelter inclusion of companion animals, many suggesting a designated space for the animals that would accommodate the needs of those shelter residents who are allergic to, or fearful of animals, for example. Vulnerable women who are homeless recognize the therapeutic value of companion animals. Homeless shelters should consider the need to provide space to accommodate the animal companions of homeless individuals.
Article
Obra teórica de una sociología de las asociaciones, el autor se cuestiona sobre lo que supone la palabra social que ha sido interpretada con diferentes presupuestos y se ha hecho del mismo vocablo un nombre impreciso e inadecuado, además se ha materializado el término como quien nombra algo concreto, de manera que lo social se convierte en un proceso de ensamblado y un tipo particular de material. Propone retomar el concepto original para hacer las debidas conexiones y descubrir el contenido estricto de las cuestiones que están conectadas bajo la sociedad.
Strategic navigation across multiple planes: towards a deleuzean-inspired methodology for strategic spatial planning
  • Hillier
Ontology, sensibility and action
  • Bennett
11 Friendship and morality:(How) are they related?
  • Bukowski
Against Human exceptionalism, paper presented at a workshop 'What does it mean to be human
  • A Pickering
Void potential: spatial dynamics and cultural manifestations of residual spaces
  • Rahmann
The empathic civilization: The Race To Global Consciousness In A World In Crisis
  • J Rifkin
From facade to interstitial space: reframing San Francisco’s Victorian residential architecture
  • Sankalia
Toward a Feminist Theory of Caring
  • Tronto
Deleuze and the Diagram: Aesthetic Threads in Visual Organization
  • J Zdebik