Temporalities of urban natures: imaginaries, narratives, and practices

Dr Lucilla Barchetta and Dr Mathilda Rosengren

Funding period: 23 September 2021 – 1 November 2022
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy), Institute for Urban Research, Malmö University (Sweden), Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany)
Dates: September 2021 (Venice), June 2022 (Berlin), and October 2022 (Malmö)
Lead organisers: Dr Lucilla Barchetta (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Deptartment of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage) and Dr Mathilda Rosengren (Malmö University)
Contact: Dr Mathilda Rosengren

Abstract: Finding viable avenues for multispecies coexistence is becoming a defining feature in the era of the Anthropocene. Only in the past year, the concurrent emergencies of climate change and SARSCov2 have thrown into light the intimate relations between human-shaped environments and the disastrous deterioration of formerly thriving ecosystems. In cities, where artificial landscapes and lively ecologies meet, the question of more-than-human cohabitation comes to a head. Consequently, more-than-human appropriations of urban space illuminate complex challenges, but also potential solutions, to a sustainable co-existing in the Anthropocene city.

Urban nature scholarship, with its tendency to emphasise spatial tensions and entanglements, nevertheless risks omitting an integral part of more-than-human urban life and successful cohabitations: that of time and diverging temporalities. This seminar series seeks to explore how different temporal entanglements structure, affect and co-produce urban landscapes, and by extension the Anthropocene city. We do so by framing our series around three overlapping thematic interrogations: Material Narratives of Urban Natures, Environmental Imaginaries of Urban Change, and Practices of Environmental Design. In asking urban nature scholars from three urban areas (Northern Italy, Öresund, and Eastern Germany) to consider time and temporalities of urban nature through these themes of narratives, imaginaries, and practices, the seminar series seeks to initiate a pan-European, interdisciplinary conversation and to facilitate future cutting-edge research on the temporalities of urban nature in the Anthropocene.