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Controlled environments: An urban research agenda on microclimatic enclosure

Author

Listed:
  • Simon Marvin

    (Urban Institute, Sheffield University, UK)

  • Jonathan Rutherford

    (LATTS – Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, France)

Abstract

Controlled environments create specialist forms of microclimatic enclosure that are explicitly designed to transcend the emerging limitations and increasing turbulence in existing modes of urban climatic conditions. Across different urban contexts, anthropogenic change is creating urban conditions that are too hot, cold, humid, wet, windy, etc. to support the continued and reliable environments that are suitable for the reproduction of food, ecologies and human life. In response, there are emerging forms of experimentation with new logics of microclimatic governance that seek to enclose environments within membranes and develop artificially created internal ecologies that are precisely customised to meet the needs of the plant, animal or human occupants of these new forms of enclosure. While recognising that enclosure has a long history in urbanism, design and architecture, we ask if a new logic of microclimatic governance is emerging in specific response to the ecological changes of the Anthropocene. The paper sets out a research agenda to investigate whether the ability of cities, states and corporates to design and construct internalised environments is now a strategic capacity that is critical to developing the knowledge, practices and technologies to reconfigure new forms of urban climatic governance that address the problems of climate change and ensure urban reproduction under conditions of turbulence.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Marvin & Jonathan Rutherford, 2018. "Controlled environments: An urban research agenda on microclimatic enclosure," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 55(6), pages 1143-1162, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:55:y:2018:i:6:p:1143-1162
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