In recent decades, urban natures have formed illuminating grounds for the biophysical, aesthetic, political and socio-economic transformation of postindustrial cities. In the face of the looming threats of manifold environmental crises, there is an increasing sense of urgency, within multiple realms of public and political discourse, to enhance metropolitan natures. Indeed, today’s growing importance of blue and green amenities addresses essential city services such as mobility, recreation and biodiversity. At present, the forms of urban natures are highly diversified; they include leisure spaces such as parks and allotments, feral spaces such as wastelands or spontaneous vegetation growing alongside railway tracks, as well as cemeteries and other interstitial spaces along watercourses. Hence, understanding the public value of urban natures requires a consideration of their socio-spatial complexity, their design features, management practices, property relations and accessibility. Urban natures, however, are also characterised by their temporal dimensions. Yet, temporal concerns have rarely been systematically addressed in urban studies research. In order to address this shortcoming, the dissertation offers an investigation of the temporality of urban natures. Drawing insights on the literatures of urban political ecology and atmosphere studies, it explores how time operates within and constitutes life in two riverbank spaces of Turin – the Italian, prototypical one-factory-town – in uneven and multifold ways. Making use of walking, as a daily practice and tool for political critique, and unstructured informal conversations, the research develops an in-depth ethnographic approach to the study of the entanglements between sociopolitical processes and the sensory world, understood in terms of everyday atmospheres. Departing from an understanding of environmental change centred on the social, the meteorological and the affective, the investigation focuses on the processes through which the issue of degrado (decay, blight) mediates humanenvironment relations, and unravels the ways in which riverbank spaces are shaped and framed by non-linear processes of development and socio-ecological change. In doing so, the research proposes an epistemological reassessment of the ambiguous notions of ‘waste’ and ‘blight’ space, by explaining how normative, temporal frames reinforce discursive divisions between urban and natural processes, and reproduce the moral geographies of human and nonhuman relations, which contribute in many ways to degradation. The research ultimately contributes to formulate a different language through which to capture the tenacious effects of processes of degradation and territorial stigma; it engenders a sensitivity to the politics of knowledge production, particularly in relation to multi-species life experience, and the landscapes and subjectivities that are created in the Anthropocene.

Riverbanks made by walking: understanding the temporalities of urban nature through atmospheres / Barchetta, Lucilla. - (2019 Jul 17).

Riverbanks made by walking: understanding the temporalities of urban nature through atmospheres

BARCHETTA, LUCILLA
2019-07-17

Abstract

In recent decades, urban natures have formed illuminating grounds for the biophysical, aesthetic, political and socio-economic transformation of postindustrial cities. In the face of the looming threats of manifold environmental crises, there is an increasing sense of urgency, within multiple realms of public and political discourse, to enhance metropolitan natures. Indeed, today’s growing importance of blue and green amenities addresses essential city services such as mobility, recreation and biodiversity. At present, the forms of urban natures are highly diversified; they include leisure spaces such as parks and allotments, feral spaces such as wastelands or spontaneous vegetation growing alongside railway tracks, as well as cemeteries and other interstitial spaces along watercourses. Hence, understanding the public value of urban natures requires a consideration of their socio-spatial complexity, their design features, management practices, property relations and accessibility. Urban natures, however, are also characterised by their temporal dimensions. Yet, temporal concerns have rarely been systematically addressed in urban studies research. In order to address this shortcoming, the dissertation offers an investigation of the temporality of urban natures. Drawing insights on the literatures of urban political ecology and atmosphere studies, it explores how time operates within and constitutes life in two riverbank spaces of Turin – the Italian, prototypical one-factory-town – in uneven and multifold ways. Making use of walking, as a daily practice and tool for political critique, and unstructured informal conversations, the research develops an in-depth ethnographic approach to the study of the entanglements between sociopolitical processes and the sensory world, understood in terms of everyday atmospheres. Departing from an understanding of environmental change centred on the social, the meteorological and the affective, the investigation focuses on the processes through which the issue of degrado (decay, blight) mediates humanenvironment relations, and unravels the ways in which riverbank spaces are shaped and framed by non-linear processes of development and socio-ecological change. In doing so, the research proposes an epistemological reassessment of the ambiguous notions of ‘waste’ and ‘blight’ space, by explaining how normative, temporal frames reinforce discursive divisions between urban and natural processes, and reproduce the moral geographies of human and nonhuman relations, which contribute in many ways to degradation. The research ultimately contributes to formulate a different language through which to capture the tenacious effects of processes of degradation and territorial stigma; it engenders a sensitivity to the politics of knowledge production, particularly in relation to multi-species life experience, and the landscapes and subjectivities that are created in the Anthropocene.
Riverbanks made by walking: understanding the temporalities of urban nature through atmospheres / Barchetta, Lucilla. - (2019 Jul 17).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/9730
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