This doctoral dissertation explores natural urban environment in Berlin that defy canonical typologies as well as attempts at easy categorisation. They are conventionally regarded as marginal and play a subordinate role within urban densification plans and neoliberal policies. However, such spaces are diffused across the urban fabric and constitute a fundamental part of Berlin's urbanity. They emerge through, and change with, a variety of socio-ecological entanglements and are currently configured in the urban arena as hybrid. That is, they occupy the intersection between the natural and the artificial as well as between public and private. They are shaped equally by formal and informal practices. This thesis proposes the notion of “in-between nature” as a theoretical and empirical tool to analyse hybrid landscapes in order to recenter spaces and practices considered marginal within urban design in the age of the Anthropocene. Furthermore, the term “in-between” captures the range of human-nature relationships in these contemporary landscapes and enables their close investigation. The hybrid spaces embody a specific culture of citizens living with, interacting with and reclaiming urban nature. They thus foster the emergence of new grassroots design cultures, forms of governance and spatial typologies that oppose the current dynamics of urban green consumption and enclosure, contributing instead to the preservation of biodiversity and the rise of eco-responsibility approaches. The research is divided into two parts. The first part traces the genealogy of the concept of “in-between nature” and anchors it within Berlin's urban history. It focuses on the intersection between urbanism and urban ecology and those intellectual discourses that emerged alongside this contemporary critical understanding. The second, based on a reassessment of interdisciplinary literature and on empirical fieldwork, examines different urban green spaces using a storytelling approach. It blends methodologies such as participant observation, in-depth interviews with citizens, activists, policymakers, and photography as a visual practice. In each instance, the analysis of the human-nature nexus reveals the valuable ecological, spatial and political characteristics of contemporary hybrid settings within the city context. As a result, this critical lens suggests a deeper, more articulated understanding of landscape design and lived practices, taking urban studies a step closer to the developing more encompassing angles and perspectives beyond the singularly human perspective.

In-between Nature - Berlin’s human and natural constructed spaces / Ferrari, Elena. - (2022 Sep 27). [10.25432/ferrari-elena_phd2022-09-27]

In-between Nature - Berlin’s human and natural constructed spaces

FERRARI, ELENA
2022

Abstract

This doctoral dissertation explores natural urban environment in Berlin that defy canonical typologies as well as attempts at easy categorisation. They are conventionally regarded as marginal and play a subordinate role within urban densification plans and neoliberal policies. However, such spaces are diffused across the urban fabric and constitute a fundamental part of Berlin's urbanity. They emerge through, and change with, a variety of socio-ecological entanglements and are currently configured in the urban arena as hybrid. That is, they occupy the intersection between the natural and the artificial as well as between public and private. They are shaped equally by formal and informal practices. This thesis proposes the notion of “in-between nature” as a theoretical and empirical tool to analyse hybrid landscapes in order to recenter spaces and practices considered marginal within urban design in the age of the Anthropocene. Furthermore, the term “in-between” captures the range of human-nature relationships in these contemporary landscapes and enables their close investigation. The hybrid spaces embody a specific culture of citizens living with, interacting with and reclaiming urban nature. They thus foster the emergence of new grassroots design cultures, forms of governance and spatial typologies that oppose the current dynamics of urban green consumption and enclosure, contributing instead to the preservation of biodiversity and the rise of eco-responsibility approaches. The research is divided into two parts. The first part traces the genealogy of the concept of “in-between nature” and anchors it within Berlin's urban history. It focuses on the intersection between urbanism and urban ecology and those intellectual discourses that emerged alongside this contemporary critical understanding. The second, based on a reassessment of interdisciplinary literature and on empirical fieldwork, examines different urban green spaces using a storytelling approach. It blends methodologies such as participant observation, in-depth interviews with citizens, activists, policymakers, and photography as a visual practice. In each instance, the analysis of the human-nature nexus reveals the valuable ecological, spatial and political characteristics of contemporary hybrid settings within the city context. As a result, this critical lens suggests a deeper, more articulated understanding of landscape design and lived practices, taking urban studies a step closer to the developing more encompassing angles and perspectives beyond the singularly human perspective.
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In-between Nature - Berlin’s human and natural constructed spaces / Ferrari, Elena. - (2022 Sep 27). [10.25432/ferrari-elena_phd2022-09-27]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11578/319194
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