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Becoming urban: sitework from a moss-eye view


  • Jennifer Gabrys


Discussing an urban walking event, “Moss-eye view”, held in the City of London, this paper considers the ways in which cities may be understood from the view of more-than-human processes and incorporations. The walk explores how distinct insights emerge into ways of ‘becoming urban’ by attending to organisms, environments, and forms of sitework that are not typically foregrounded in the usual economies of the City of London. Moss incorporates the material effects of urban ecologies across time and space, and thus forms a process of bio-indication in the city, capturing pollutants and making resources available for other organisms. Mosses in the city might be studied as sentient, more-than-human exchangers of and participants in urban energies, and as in-between and peripheral organisms that connect up sites by working across material, affective, political, socionatural, and imaginative registers. It is argued that the “Moss-eye view” walking event is a form of research that opens up infra-urban practices for understanding cities through alternative associations and incorporations of urban life. Keywords: becoming urban, urban ecologies, walking, sitework, practical ontologies, incorporation

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Gabrys, 2012. "Becoming urban: sitework from a moss-eye view," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(12), pages 2922-2939, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:12:p:2922-2939

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