Urban Circulations

Virtual conference on June 23, 2022

The conference is over!

We would like to thank everyone who participated!

You can find out more about the work of the KRITIS Research Training Group on our homepage:

www.kritis.tu-darmstadt.de

Please feel free to send suggestions, questions or further comments about the conference to our e-mail:

conference@kritis.tu-darmstadt.de

The organizational team

Accessible and functional urban sanitation, unimpeded mobility, steady electrical power provision, and permanent internet connection are desired standards today in most settings worldwide. They require unceasing streams of matter, energy, people, and information circulating in socio-technical networks or arrangements we call infrastructures. At the same time, issues such as the current pandemic and climate change are challenging the modernist ideal of continuous flows, their acceleration, intensification, and ubiquitous connectivity. They remind us of the risks of our dependency on undisrupted provision as well as of malign or transgressive, i.e. unwanted circulations.

The circulation within and around infrastructure systems is one of the central themes of the Research Training Group KRITIS. It is the aim of this conference to elaborate understandings of circulation in and between cities mediated by infrastructures.

Contributions may focus on, but are not limited to:

  • Conceptual approaches: What are the potentials and limitations of circulation to explain movements in complex systems? How can we empirically observe and assess hidden and entangled circulations? Are biological analogies adequate for their conceptualization?
  • Continuity and interruption: How do loads, goods, or people feature in particular kinds of circulation? How can societies and infrastructures be protected from the risks of involuntary interruption accompanying circulations? What do such interruptions reveal about infrastructure and underlying socio-political systems?
  • Society and ecology: How do infrastructures contribute to or mediate social and environmental problems and how can they serve as a key for solutions? How do users and non-users deal with unreliable, tenuous, or inaccessible circulation? Are there perspectives for inclusive circulation and participatory infrastructure planning?

The panels will consist of speakers from various academic disciplines and practitioners alike. Additionally, there will be two keynote lectures by internationally renowned scholars, namely:

  • Erik Swyngedouw, University of Manchester
  • Sabine Barles, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

We hope to welcome you to our virtual conference on June 23, 2022. All speakers and visitors please register for admission via form on the right sidebar.

The language of moderations and discussions is English. Contributions may be in English or German.

This website is updated continuously.
Status: 14.06.22

The conference program is subject to change.
barles
Time (UTC+1) Event Speaker
09:00–09:25 Opening Remarks
09:25–10:15
Keynote 1: Metabolisms – Symbolic, Imaginary, and Real

“… a thing cannot be understood or even talked about independently of the relations it has with other things. For example, resources can be defined only in relationship to the mode of production which seeks to make use of them and which simultaneously ‘produces’ them through both the physical and mental activity of the users’”

– D. Harvey, Limits to capital, 1980: 212.


The presentation will consider how organic and non-organic ‘stuff’ is both sustained and continually transformed through metabolic circulatory processes that fuse together both physical dynamics and social relations/processes. This transfiguration of matter constitutes a socio-ecological process through which new socio-physical configurations come into being, are transformed, or disappear.


This continuous enrolment of non-human matter within circulatory circuits of socio-ecological metabolism operates in conjunction with particular imaginaries and fantasies of what ‘sustains’ a given socio-ecological order. Such imaginaries or fantasies invariably dwell in the registers of ‘growth’, ‘development’, ‘progress’ or ‘sustainability’.


Nonetheless, such imaginaries and their symbolic expression customarily disavow or repress the inconsistencies, conflicts, and antagonisms that run through the metabolic circuit and render it inherently unstable, contradictory and contested, and, thereby, political. The figures of the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic constitution of metabolic circuits will be briefly illustrated through a rudimentary metabolic excavation of ‘the Electrical Vehicle’ as techno-managerial panacea for the climate crisis.

Prof. Erik Swyngedouw

School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester

COFFEE BREAK (10 min)
10:25–12:30
PANEL 1: WORKING WITH CIRCULATION

This panel focuses on work in the context of circulation – as a prerequisite, an arena , and a reason for circulatory flows.


Unimpeded circulation in urban settings is often taken for granted and only questioned in situations of breakdown. However, such a notion fails to consider the continuous work necessary to generate and maintain circulation. This becomes evident in the case of delivery workers, who need to employ their labor to create flexible and rapid circulations but also find ways of resisting exploitative pressures. When accustomed circulations break down, it may become necessary to self-organize circulatory flows, as the example of private transport of goods between Germany and Poland through the iron curtain after 1980 indicates. For migrant workers traveling between rural and urban regions in the Netherlands and Belgium, circulation in the form of personal mobility needs to be organised as a prerequisite for employment.


In these analyses and examples, it becomes clear that work activities are deeply intertwined both with technical infrastructures and the formal or informal organization of circulation. In addition, they demonstrate how work and circulation both mirror political and economic power relations and can be a means of contesting or circumventing them.

Chair: Dr. Francesca Pilo’

Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University

10:30–11:00
Work it – Circulations in the logistics city

It is a truism that urban areas are circulatory spaces. Circulation refers to quite different forms of movement and various things moved within infrastructures, including energy, sewage, persons or data. Historian Stefanie Gänger observes that “circulation has come to describe virtually any sort of movement, transmission, or passage.” (2017, 303) The talk of circulation thus faces the problem of generalisation. Inherent to its use is the tendency to level out specificities and differences between various movements. Decidedly arguing against “circulation as a major narrative”, Monika Dommann calls for a “radical follow-the-movement heuristics”. This descriptive framework has “to reconstruct meticulously the political and economic constellations that underlie movement and standstill, and which forms of economy and politics are fostered or inhibited by movements or standstills” (2016, 532–33).

Although it is tempting to consider breakdowns and interruptions of seemingly unimpeded and smooth movements within urban infrastructures as a theoretical resource to ponder on the taken-for-grantedness of circulation (Graham 2010), I focus on three exemplary texts in critical logistics research: Charmaine Chua on the logistical city (2021), Annie McClanahan on urban circulation workers (2022), and Armin Beverungen on logistical urbanism (2021). Here, the question of producing movement is paramount. The authors provide both the theoretical vocabulary and the programmatic to analyze logistic movements. On the one hand, they present a theoretical inventory of urban capitalism that fits into the heuristics demanded by Dommann. On the other hand, they go beyond heuristics by using a non-metaphorical notion of circulation to develop an analytical, programmatic framework for examining logistical movements and their social consequences in detail. Critical logistics research refrains from depicting the urban space as made of unimpeded and smooth circulations by paying particular attention to the work required to make things move.


Mathias Denecke MA

Institute for Media Studies, Ruhr University Bochum

11:00–11:30
“We organize in under 10 minutes”: digital vignettes on spatial abstraction and tactics of resistance in delivery work

During the pandemic lockdowns, last-mile delivery platforms enabled certain urbanites to access goods and services, while making delivery workers essential for maintaining the high consumption urban life style. Delivery riders are now ubiquitous in urban contexts, new platforms are booming, and transnational venture capital is pumping millions into this industry.

With this push, 10-minute delivery services are on the rise. Like digital platforms that coordinate demand of consumers with offers of riders, 10-minute delivery services, also establish multiple logistical hubs at the neighbourhood level to fulfil the convenience dreams of avid consumers, anchoring physical infrastructure in the form of micro-logistic hubs, while pushing workers to new limits.


This article addresses the process of platform territorialisation, illustrating its relations with platform workers tactics of resistance. For this purpose, I focus on three stages. First, the platform’s business model aims to maximize efficiency and profits through increased territorial reach, creating micro-logistic hubs at neighbourhood level, and therefore territorialising itself in the city. Second, the physical space for workers is re-created bringing about the potential for labour organization, while making tangible the choke points in the process of circulation. Third, workers through their interactions engage in a variety of spatial tactics of resistance.


I will interpret the relation of platform territorialisation to workers spatial practices, through the concepts of abstract and differential space (Lefebvre, 1991), linking it to literature on “logistical resistance” (Danyluk, 2022). I will illustrate this process through two cases: Berlin and Barcelona. These cases portray the interactions between the platform’s territorialisation with emerging resistance practices, which I have mapped through social media content created by worker’s organisations, and traditional media analysis of events through 2021.

Nicolás Palacios Crisótomo MSc

Spatial Development and Urban Policy, ETH Zurich

11:30–12:00
How the disruption of a circulation flow enabled new flows across the Iron Curtain

On the 13th of December 1981, martial law was declared to break up the Solidarność movement and stop the reformation process of the Polish state. At the same time, it was becoming impossible to obtain the state monopoly for traffic flows without giving up on control and the much-needed foreign exchange. In the years 1979 and 1980, millions of packages filled with food, clothes and medication were sent with the Deutsche Bundespost to Poland to help overcome the supply shortages. With the declaration of martial law, the situation for the Polish population worsened, and the packages sent quadrupled. The infrastructure flows created by state organisations Deutsche Bundespost, Deutsche Post and Poczta Polska were overwhelmed by this task. Especially the Polish post service was incapable of delivering the packages in time.

While the Deutsche Bundespost tried to prevent the system's collapse, the Posczta Polska was unable to adapt fast enough to make sure the packages arrived in a condition where the content was still useable. German, Polish and German-Polish users lost faith in the ability of the postal traffic and searched for alternatives.


Privat persons in the BRD used their abilities and infrastructure to create new circulation flows beside the state-supported postal traffic. They drove across the Iron Curtain to aid family members and friends in need and created, in the long term, a new circulation flow that was faster, cheaper, more flexible and user-oriented than the postal traffic. These privately organised transports challenged the monopoly of the state organisations.

Krischan Bockhorst MA

Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

12:00–12:30
Follow the commutes – Commuting trajectories of migrant workers as lens to understand arrival infrastructures and urban-rural circulations

This contribution explores the potential of migrant commuting as a conceptual focus and methodology to grasp migrant’s infrastructures and infrastructuring practices as circulations in and between urban and rural areas. Migration and arrival infrastructures are often studied in either urban or rural contexts. However, many migrant experiences and infrastructures are not necessarily embedded in either one or the other and a dichotomy between these spatialities might obliviate a crucial part of migrants realities, struggles and aspirations. This paper is based on empirical research with agricultural migrant workers in the Netherlands (Westland area) and Belgium (Sint Truiden area). Looking at the different ways migrant workers commuted each day to and from the worksites allowed us to see a wide array of formal and informal, material and social infrastructuring practices for and by migrant workers. Following, and being part of, these often circular commutes allowed us to conceptualize the connection between rural and urban areas, as well as the wide array of distances, vehicles, disruptions, strategies, and amount of autonomy that are involved in materializing these circulations. The amount of autonomy migrant workers have and do not have over their commutes, for example, and the alternative strategies some are taking to circumvent this lack of autonomy, reflect the degrees of dependency on intermediating agencies and/or employees in their work and housing situation. Taking migrant commuting as a lens to understand these infrastructuring practices therefore offers important insights into the relationship between the types of (circular) mobility and precarity involved in agricultural migrant labour.

Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University

LUNCH BREAK (1 hour)
13:30–15:05
PANEL 2: PLANNING CIRCULATION

This panel explores urban circulations as objects of planning by using examples of various types of transport infrastructure.


The planning of circulations concerns the design, management and regulation of circulation within urban space. Cities face major challenges in managing circulations, such as congestion, mass tourism, disruptions of water and energy supply as well as environmental effects of established car mobility practices. These challenges require planning interventions. Essential questions about planning circulations are: How are circulations managed in the contemporary city? How can different types of infrastructures allow and regulate circulations? How do circulatory rhythms interact and align? How can circulations be constructed?


The contributions in this panel will address some of these questions by using a range of examples. The first case shall focus on how circulations can be constructed and how that aligns with ideas and imaginaries of future city expansions in Rio de Janeiro. Next, we move to Vienna, where the implications of policy interventions and experimental governance in circulation and mobility practices are discussed through the example of experimental superblocks governance. Finally, we will discuss how circulatory rhythms interact and are aligned under the influence of Cruise Tourism in the City of Dubrovnik.

Chair: Prof. Uwe Rüppel

Institute for Numerical Methods and Informatics in Civil Engineering, Technical University of Darmstadt

13:35–14:05
Beyond the Joá – Infrastructural circulations building the future in Rio de Janeiro

The Joá Bridge, an infrastructural complex comprised of four tunnels and two-level bridges, extends for 1.25 kilometers between the neighborhoods of São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. Built in 1971, it was the most expensive urban construction in the state at the time, with an unprecedent technical complexity and size. Hemmed in between an 844 meters high mountain and the vast Atlantic Ocean, that infrastructure connected not only the South Side of the city to its West Side, but also connected ideas of progress and modernity with imaginaries of nature, bucolicism and a a-historical past. Those contradictory connections shaped the recent urban expansion and circulation of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the promises of future that circulated alongside with the cars, people and infrastructures towards the hinterlands of Barra da Tijuca. Through the construction of the Joá, we can investigate those various circulations, but also the contradictory ideas and imaginaries that help create the future of the city expansion.

From an urban infrastructure perspective, historically analyzing the construction of the Joá infrastructural complex helps us understand the construction of the promises of future that were being created in regard to the under-construction neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca. The circulation of infrastructures, such as water, cement, electricity and telephone lines, that became possible due to the construction of the Joá, circulated among the many promises and imaginaries that were essential for the expansion of the real-estate market. Among people and cars, contradictory ideas were put together to sell the newborn neighborhood. Isolated from the city while connected to it, modern and of the future while nostalgic and bucolic, are some of the aspects that the socio-technical compositions of the bridges and tunnels made possible. Through a historical research on newspaper articles, this paper investigates the intertwined constructions of the Joá, of Barra da Tijuca, and of promises of future.

Rodrigo Cerqueira Agueda MA

Institute of Social and Political Studies, State University of Rio de Janeiro

14:05–14:35
When the first train departs: Infrastructural renewal and structures of expectations in secondary cities

Cities no longer grow only at the expense of the so-called rural, but also at the expense of other, less competitive cities. While the neoliberal model of economic growth, based on deregulation, privatisation and cheap credit, has, on the whole, benefitted most developed economies in the past few decades, the generalistic marker of GDP masks its legacy of social and spatial segregation. Whereas centres of capital accumulation flourish, the cities unable to catch up find themselves marginalised to a socio-economic periphery. To complicate matters, the processes leading to the unequal power dynamics defining urban hierarchies and the patterns of circulation between them are largely beyond the scope of municipal planning offices and belong to the realm of regional policy, (inter-)national economies, and their infrastructural underpinnings. Planners and policymakers in secondary cities covet new mobility infrastructure in particular as a way to catch up with the dynamics of circulating capital. However, the costs of such major infrastructure upgrades are systematically underestimated and the benefits are greatly overestimated. There is a tendency to forget that new transport infrastructure only moves things already on the move. As a result, new mobility infrastructure has the potential to exacerbate existing inequalities if mismanaged. In an analysis of these dynamics, the proposed presentation makes two contributions to the field of urban studies. First by adapting the term “structures of expectations” from the field of regional studies as a tool for critiquing as well as influencing urban circulations and infrastructure outcomes. And second by applying the term to a comparative case study critically evaluating the planning process of the future Rail Baltic high-speed rail project in Pärnu, a secondary city in the Baltic State of Estonia. The analysis clarifies how structures of expectations lead to concrete action and calls for a more systemic and inclusive approach to planning major infrastructure projects.

Mattias Malk MA

Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Estonian Academy of Arts

14:35–15:05
Cruise tourism and circulation – Rhythms of cruise passengers in the city

The aim of this study is to analyse the rhythm of circulation of cruise tourism on the road infrastructure as Critical Infrastructure using Henri Lefebvre’s concept of rhythmanalysis. Cruise tourism is addressed in the Overtourism debate as cruise passengers are disembarked at once, floating the city and visiting the same tourist attractions. The interplay of the rhythm of circulation and the criticality of the road infrastructure has been neglected so far in tourism research. Hence, by combining the concepts of criticality, rhythm and beat, this study can close the research gap. Using a qualitative research design, Dubrovnik, Croatia, was chosen as a case study and 19 expert interviews as well as several observations were undertaken. In this study, the rhythm of circulation of cruise passengers, the synchronising effects of measures by the local city government and the rhythm of circulation of local citizens are examined. By doing so, it is shown that the criticality of elements of the road infrastructure is based on the difference in the beats of the rhythms of circulation of cruise tourists and citizens. The significance of this study is that it adds a new perspective for finding solutions to the Overtourism debate and that it applies Henri Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis in empirical research.

Allegra Celine Baumann MA

Research Training Group KRITIS & Institute of Sociology, Technical University of Darmstadt

COFFEE BREAK (10 min)
15:15–16:50
PANEL 3: MATERIALITIES OF CIRCULATION

This panel explores the physical dynamics of circulation in urban environments by using the example of water.


Environmental changes require adaptations of technical systems, governance, and land use practices. Such dynamics are most critical and best perceptible at systemic intersections. However, the classical idea of separated spheres of nature and society are still frequent in planning approaches to infrastructure. They hardly account for the movements and exchange in-between. Studies of environment and technology, on the other hand, are increasingly evaluating such interactions by investigating the relevance of material objects and through their socio-natural embeddedness in an attempt to transcend the limits of anthropocentrism.


In this vein, the contributions in this panel will focus on urban waters. Because water constitutes the material base of human life, its circulations offer the chance for transcultural comparison across time and space. The cases presented range from medieval Basel, where the multiple benefits of a small river were harnessed through a channel network and diverse management schemes, to present-day Nairobi, where socially differentiated water storage techniques are used to create water security through circulatory slack and redundancy, all the way to Delhi, where human bodies serve as socio-material infrastructure to complement hydraulic circulation in settings of social inequity.

Chair: Prof. Gerrit Jasper Schenk

Institute of History, Technical University of Darmstadt

15:20–15:50
Socio-natural arrangements with water in the rural-urban fringe of the minor city of Basel during the 15th century

Urban water infrastructure reached beyond the mere structural core of the city also in the late middle ages. In this sense, the metabolism of the city already began in its rural-urban fringe. In the area beyond the walls of the minor city of Basel a widely and in some areas finely ramified network of water channels served the controlled flooding of meadows and water powered mills, before it passed under the walls to join the waterworks of the inner city with its wells and channels. Focussing on the wider rural-urban area further arrangements with water become apparent, which went beyond the direct use of water while simultaneously being closely connected to it. Fishing took place in the floodplain of the river Wiese, which supplied this specific water network, as well as in the channels themselves. The movement of salmon and other fish was an opportunity but also a challenge for the different urban agents not unlike the movement of the water itself. Conflicting particular interests shaped the recurring conflicts and the efforts to maintain the infrastructural and social stability and were further impacted by the adaptation of water use to the ecological processes. The fragility and dynamic states of these arrangements are particularly evident in the water engineering, which was characterised by constant repairs and maintenance. This puts the focus on the coppiced woodland close to the floodplain, which played a vital role in constructing and maintaining the channels, ditches and weirs. There the adaptation of resource use and ecological processes led to reforestation and regulatory measures regarding felling and coppicing.

With this small scale and detailed focus on the manifold and complex entanglements between urban agents, technical constructions and natural entities it becomes clear, that this form of urban infrastructure should not be understood as separate from nature nor culture. Particularly the awareness of ecological processes, which becomes apparent in the written sources of conflicts between the different urban agents, has potential for the historical as well as the current understanding and reflections on socio-ecological arrangements.

Jakob Weber MA

Department of History, University of Basel

15:50–16:20
Jerry cans, super drums, water tanks – Domestic water storage as critical infrastructure in Nairobi

In recent decades, urban and infrastructural research on (material) flows, connections, and metabolisms has greatly advanced our understanding of how infrastructures shape cities and vice versa. Preconceived notions of a ‘networked city’ with its idealized flawless circulations have been challenged by investigations “beyond the network” (Coutard & Rutherford 2016) that engage with the “post-networked city” (Cirolia et al 2021), heterogeneous infrastructures (Lawhon et al 2017), and other situations “on, off, below and beyond” the grid (Munro 2020), especially in Southern cities. In conjunction with other contributions (cf. Anand 2011, Baumgardt 2018, Schramm & Ibrahim 2019), this has further unraveled the socio-political and socio-technical production of infrastructural inequalities and interruptions of currents, pressures, and circulations.

Against this increasing knowledge on infrastructural flows and their potential disruptions, however, another crucial factor for urban material circulations is rarely discussed yet ubiquitous in many cities across the globe: Storage. For my contribution, I focus on domestic water storage – here defined as the combination of storage artefacts and storage practices – in Nairobi (Kenya), a city shaped by infrastructural heterogeneity and uncertainty, where households of all backgrounds and sizes store water – either due to a lack of in- house connections or because of planned and unplanned interruptions in networked supply.


Centering around Nairobi’s three key artefacts of water storage – the jerry can, the super drum, and the water tank – I show a) how critical these mundane objects and the practices around them are for the socio-technical functioning of Nairobi, and b) how socio-spatial inequalities in the city’s waterscape are reflected in domestic water storage. Beyond a ‘back-up’ function for sudden disruptions only, I discuss storage as an everyday crucial part of urban infrastructure and hydraulic circulations. Ultimately, I advocate for increased emphasis on the non-flowing moments and spaces of infrastructures cumulating in a ‘storage city’ that is not opposed to a networked or post-networked city but is entangled with them in manifold ways.

Moritz Kasper MSc

Department of International Planning Studies, Technical University Dortmund

16:20–16:50
The prosthetics of infrastructure – Invisible bodies, devalued labor and the everyday circulation of water in Delhi

This paper interrogates the relationship between the body and socio-material dimensions of infrastructure in the city. Although a burgeoning interdisciplinary literature has been attentive to the socio-material features of infrastructure, the generative relationship between infrastructure and the body has received less attention. Bringing a feminist political ecology lens to critical infrastructure studies, I show how gendered/casted/classed bodies act as part of urban infrastructure through the quotidian practices and labor of finding and circulating water to households across neighborhoods. I specifically use the concept-metaphor of ‘prosthesis’ as a heuristic devise to help show when and how bodies become ‘internalized’ as part of infrastructural networks, and to render visible often overlooked dimensions of infrastructure and our analytic view of it. In particular, I argue that conceptualizing the body as a prosthesis to infrastructure helps make visible 1.) the embodied labor, maintenance and care work that subsidizes and enables infrastructural assemblages and networks, 2.) the politics and forces at work that produce the necessity for particular gendered/casted/classed bodies to act as infrastructure in the first place, and 3.) the valuation/devaluation of labor and lives in relation to urban infrastructure. I conclude by calling for further analyses of the body as the site by which the sociopolitical and material dimensions of infrastructure are affected, resisted, negotiated, and lived.

Dr. Yaffa Truelove

Geography, University of Colorado Boulder

COFFEE BREAK (10 min)
17:00–17:50
Keynote 2: Environment, metabolism and infrastructures – Circulations in Paris, 18th-21st centuries

In this talk, I would like to address the changing links existing between environment, metabolism and infrastructures in a long-term perspective and through an urban lens. The focus on Paris urban area will help to illustrate this history, based on previous research and on history of technology and environmental history framework.

Choosing the second half of the 18th century as a starting point, I will argue that Paris has faced, at that time, a dual environmental crisis, both internal and external. Paris was lacking food and wood from its supply areas, a situation reinforced by weather events, and was affected by an excess mortality (if compared to rural areas) largely attributed to bad environmental conditions inside the city. These problems were of major concern for all of those who were involved in urban issues and some solutions were proposed in order to improve the situation. Managing and improving urban metabolism was one of them and has largely been applied during 19th century. To the harms of stagnation were opposed the benefits of circulation (of water, air, goods, money, people, and so on). If the word “metabolism” was not in use among Paris stakeholders, a truly metabolic approach to the city took place. It resulted in a hybrid metabolism, made of circularity (for nutrients and most of urban by products) and linearity (for energy sources and water), sustained by both linear and point infrastructures, true and “soft” networks, mainly at local level even if supply areas tended to extend. During the 19th century, Paris was then a recycling city, and nether had been to this extent before, and at the same time was engaged in energy transition to fossil fuels. If material circulation increased, it remained, on an individual basis, quite stable, except for water. This model was questioned during the last third of the century, again for internal and external reasons, some of them of environmental nature, others connected to industrial or defensive issues. This has led to a profound transformation of urban metabolism, characterised by linearization, externalisation, increasing flows and increasing dependence on linear or remote infrastructures. Even if recycling remained a matter of concern in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, it slowly disappeared – the second world war gave a new actuality to this way of managing urban excreta – and was replaced by infrastructural solutions dedicated to, at best, waste (bad) treatment, or to abandonment to nature, to the point that one might refer to the infrastructures of abandonment (sanitary landfills for instance). The linearization of metabolism was also accompanied by a spatial, institutional and professional compartmentalization between the city and its supply and discharge areas, the link between them being reduced to infrastructures. However, the last third of the 20th century was characterized by the emergence of a trend of thought that questioned urban metabolism and pointed the harmful impacts of linear urban metabolism supported by networked infrastructures. Today, if one can observe some changes in response to these criticisms, I argue that they remain very tenuous, to the point that I could conclude that the solutions developed by public authorities or private companies seem more dedicated to strengthen the dominant model than to change it.

Prof. Sabine Barles

Institut de géographie, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

17:50–18:10 Closing remarks
from 19:00 Conference dinner

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Erik Swyngedouw

Professor of Human Geography
School of Environment, education and development, University of Manchester

Prof. Sabine Barles

Professor of spatial planning and urbanism
Institut de géographie, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne