Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures - WALK 1: Green Infrastructures and the Democratic Public (Paris)

Coulée Verte Paris

Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures - WALK 1: Green Infrastructures and the Democratic Public (Paris)

Coulée Verte Paris
University of London Institute in Paris
Event dates
, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (CEST)

'Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures' is a research project led by Dr John Bingham-Hall, as part of the Banister Fletcher Global Fellowship, a fellowship opportunity piloted by the University of London Institute in Paris in partnership with the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

The core of the research will be around three collective walks, programmed for Spring 2022 in Paris and in London, each (literally) exploring public atmospheres at three different scales. This work will connect infrastructural critique to public sphere theory, design research and studies of urban ecology.

‘Green infrastructures’ form a crucial part of Paris’ plan climat: ‘urban forests’ to fight the effects of heat islands, and commercial scale agriculture for future food security. The first collective walk of this series, preceded by a seminar, will explore some of the following questions:

  • What are the tensions between the performance or imposition of these ideas of sustainability through state-led green infrastructure, and the real ecological transitions they bring about?
  • What kinds of society are imagined, imposed, or forgotten in the configuration of new infrastructures and the repurposing of old ones?

Bringing together scholars with artists and activists, equipping participants with both observational tools and frames, drawing on sonic and choreographic walking methods, this research project aims to produce a critical cartography of connections between human and non-human cultures.

    Presentations and Profiles of Speakers

    Pushpa Arabindoo/Ecologies of infrastructure: Materialities of metabolic change

    Pushpa Arabindoo is Associate Professor in Geography & Urban Design at University College London (UCL). Her interdisciplinary training includes the fields of architecture and urban planning as well as geography and urban planning. She has also taught at the University of Paris Diderot and at the University of Amsterdam as part of the Erasmus teacher exchange programs. She is currently working on a monograph on Chennai, the urban ethnography of a city which also allows her to approach the theoretical concepts relating to the problems of the countries of the South.

    Presentation: Ecologies of infrastructure: Materialities of metabolic change

    Contrary to the use of ecological imaginaries to decry the material presence of infrastructural objects, Pushpa will show how creative pedagogic experiments can be helpful in a more constructive rethinking of infrastructure as landscape.

    Marco Veneri / Curating Urban Futures

    Marco Veneri is an architect and a PhD researcher at Kingston University London funded by Techne (AHRC). He obtained his master’s in Housing and Urbanism at the Architectural Association and has worked in Rome and London. He is the co-founder of OFF-POF where his research and practice intersect and focuses on urban transformations through participatory action, curatorial projects and inclusive & ecological approaches to landscape design, urban design and planning.

    Presentation: Curating Urban Futures

    The seminar will introduce ideas from his ongoing doctoral project Curating Urban Futures exploring the challenges and opportunities of “meanwhile use” and urban farming in the context of urban regeneration strategies. Investigating innovative and emerging practices of urban farming and their possible contribution to restructuring our food systems, the research questions how temporality and impermanence can provide new key entry points in the debate of urban planning, green infrastructure and the future of our cities.

    Eleonora Schiavi & John Bingham-Hall / Walking green lines

    Eleonora Schiavi is an architect & urban planner, graduated from the Polytechnic of Milan in 2014. Motivated by interests addressing as much environment, architecture, and archaeology as art, she began her doctorate in 2017 at the ESAPLV, entitled Archaeology of the Contemporary: Ruin as moving territory of living fragments. It deals with abandoned spaces which, once reintegrated into the present, are studied as support for animal, plant and human life. These are the elements of a territory that speaks of the environment and evolution.

    John Bingham-Hall is a Banister Fletcher Global Fellow at ULIP and Co-Director of Theatrum Mundi and an independent researcher interested in performances, infrastructures, and technologies of shared life in the city. With a background in music (Goldsmiths) and architectural theory (UCL Bartlett), he works across artistic, spatial and critical humanities to question and participate in the making of the urban public sphere. Since 2015, he has initiated projects with Theatrum Mundi on cultural infrastructure, urban commons, political voice, and sonic urbanism.

    Walking green lines

    This walk will follow green linearities connect urban farming projects in the north-east of Paris. Throughout the walk, we will experiment with image making and cartographic methods, proposed by Eleonora Schiavi, to document the public interfaces and flows construct. Its starting point will be to ask how we can read ‘green infrastructures’ in terms of their production of a symbolic landscape carrying new civic and democratic imaginaries of ecological urban society, and the implications of a linear green urbanism for public life.

    Programme - 5 May 2022

    Seminar (morning)

    • 09:30 – Arrivals and coffee
    • 09:45 – Introductions + framing
    • 10:15 – Presentations by Pushpa Arabindoo and Marco Veneri
    • 11:00 – Discussion

    Walk (afternoon)

    • 14.00 – Walking green lines led by John Bingham-Hall and Eleonora Schiavi (leaving from Porte de la Chapelle)
    • 16.30 – Collective mapping led by Eleonora Schiavi (at Laboratoire GERPHAU)
    • 17.30 – Drink at La Ferme du Rail

    Please email John Bingham-Hall at if you would like to express interest in attending the event.