A panel discussion convened by Dr John Bingham-Hall to launch his Banister Fletcher programme Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures.
In recent years, ideas of nature in urban planning and design have expanded. The language of parks and public spaces is being eclipsed by that of urban commons, green infrastructures, and rewilding. These ecological forms are imagined as responses to environmental challenges – food security, heat reduction, biodiversity and so on. But each has wrapped up within it very different versions of social life, culture, encounter, both human and non-human.
Paris is an ideal territory to illustrate this shift. Taking the city’s contemporary climate adaptation strategies as a starting point, this conversation invites an urban planner and an artist to discuss new forms of public ecology, reflect critically on the political imaginaries of urban culture they represent, and speculate on their unforeseen or unintended consequences.
Céline Baumann is a French landscape architect based in Basel, Switzerland. Her eponymous studio operates in the fields of urbanism, landscape architecture and exhibition. She aims through an intersectional lens to create dynamic open spaces informed by the interactive ecology between people and nature. This design work is complemented by a commitment to research, allowing her to explore the collective value of nature and its impact on individuals.
Marion Waller is an urban planner and environmental philosopher. Advisor to the mayor of Paris on architecture and urban landscape, she was previously deputy director of Jean-Louis Missika's cabinet and notably piloted the "Réinventer Paris" project. In 2016, she published the book "Natural artefacts", on ecological restoration and the possibilities for humans to re-inhabit the Earth. She teaches at Sciences Po Paris and the University of Paris Est Créteil. She studied at Sciences Po, ENS and EHESS.
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