Archives for posts with tag: political ecology

urban ecologies conference 2

Exciting news, dear readers!

Your Urban Geographer is taking his urban theorizing out of the blogosphere and into the world at OCAD University’s Urban Ecologies Conference this June! Yes, a spring-time return to my beloved Toronto is near.

As a “Poster Presenter”, I will be creating a whimsical and interactive experience featuring a series of animations/GIFs that I have been developing since my 2011 Fuller Lecture. You can read my proposal to the Urban Ecologies Conference here.

Halifax

Nature

Clips from my 2011 Fuller Lecture – “Everything is Everything”

The broad theme of the presentation will be the accessible expression of the theories of Urban Political Ecology. Though the sub-field is a highly convoluted, academic, jargony time, at it’s heart is the philosophical, deeply poetic and very important concept that humans are not separate from the ecology that surrounds them. Urban systems are natural systems, and if we shift our thought, we can build them to be more agreeable with their surrounding non-human ecosystems, and never hostile. We can also begin to address the social injustices that occur as a result of our inevitable impact on the planet, rather than focusing on conservation (which treats nature as something other to us – a commodity – to be exploited).

Ecology is urbanization, and urbanization is ecology” said Michael Hough, an important nature-culture landscape architect. He is the author of Cities and Natural Processa book that will figure prominently in my research for the presentation.

So, readers, I look forward to this project and sharing it with you! I am excited to think broadly about nature-culture and urban ecology while focusing on specific examples from my personal geographies in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

See you at the Urban Ecologies Conference in June!

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I am excited to announce that I have applied to be a presenter at OCAD’s upcoming Urban Ecologies conference in Toronto this June.

My proposal is to do a presentation similar to the lecture I gave during Halifax’s Fuller Terrace Lecture Series’ 2011 season. There, for an evening of talks under the theme “The Nature of Things”, I spoke about the history of the concept of nature, and society’s entrenched nature-culture binary which works to obscure the questions that matter most in contemporary environmentalism: who are the winners and losers of humans’ inevitable impact on the planet.

Tree-Building

Clip from “Everything is Everything” – an animation/presentation about nature and cities.

For the lecture, I created a whimsical animation as an easily accessible version of the concepts of Urban Political Ecology – the body of literature that informed my undergraduate thesis, which in turn inspired the lecture. I used examples from Halifax to illustrate these concepts and relate them to the audience’s day-to-day experience of the city. Indeed, cities are places where the supposedly natural and non-natural come together most poignantly.

Halifax

Halifax, as animated for the presentation.

I present to you my proposal for the upcoming Urban Ecologies conference at OCAD. The base of the presentation will remain similar to that which was presented in Halifax – but the examples will be customized to my native Toronto, where instances of nature-culture are abundant: the Don Valley Brick Works, the system of ravines that run through the city, the “re-naturalization” of the Don River, and the Leslie Street spit.

Enjoy – and whether I am accepted or not, see you at the Urban Ecologies conference in June!

Daniel Rotsztain Presentation Written Abstract Proposal Daniel Rotsztain Visual