Healthy More-than-Human Urban Environments
221 Bouverie Street
T: (03) 8344 9395
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To tackle critical global problems, we urgently need to think about cities and urban environments differently, in much less human-centred ways. At first, cities may seem obviously to be about humans; yet at the heart of many urban challenges are entangled relationships between humans and non-human species. The global movement towards urban greening is creating and changing the habitat that cities provide, while also changing the numbers and types of plants and wildlife people might encounter in daily life. Yet there is poor understanding of how human residents interact with wildlife already in cities, let alone with species that might be encouraged to return through urban greening.
This seminar presents findings from a study exploring residents’ perceptions of and interactions with wildlife in Sunshine North, Melbourne, where a concrete drainage channel is being transformed into an urban wetland. Residents’ complex relationships with different animal species reveal the limitations of binary concepts including biophilia, biophobia, native and non-native. Dr Maller introduces more-than-human theories as an alternative way of conceptualising urban human-wildlife relationships and show how these theories can be used to rethink cities as more-than-human, eco-centric healthy places.