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Cambridge City Seminars: From Urban Ecology to Ecological Urbanism: an Ambiguous Trajectory

Professor Matthew Gandy (University College London)
When Oct 27, 2015
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Boardroom, Department of Architecture
Contact Name
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The term 'ecology', which first emerged in relation to the biological sciences in the nineteenth century, has subsequently undergone a series of conceptual permutations in an urban context. Existing tensions around the definition of "the city" as an object of analysis have become further complicated by the increasing deployment of ecological metaphors in urban design and related fields. It is suggested that the limitations of urban ecology, as a coherent approach for urban analysis or intervention, stem from dynamic, interdependent, and historically contested characteristics of urban nature and the ambiguous dimensions to ecology as a leitmotif for urban politics.

Matthew Gandy is Professor of Geography at University College London and was Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory from 2005-11. Recent publications include The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination (MIT Press), Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City (MIT Press), "Learning from Lagos" in New Ledt Review and "Cyborg Urbanization: Complexity and Monstrosity in the Contemporary City" in The International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Matthew is also actively involved in local issues in Hackney, East London, and is a member of the Hackney Biodiversity Partnership and Hackney Environment Network. You can find more details about his current projects and read his blog Cosmopolis at matthewgandy.org