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Transcript
Urban Experiments and the
Strange Epistemology of
Adaptation
James Evans, University of
Manchester
Storyline:
urban
adaptation is
key
- Cities are chief perpetrators (50% of
population, 75% energy use and 80%
C emissions…)
- Cities are chief victims
- Cities are ideal test sites for
solutions
- Cities are ‘new state spaces’, that
haven’t received much attention from
and environmental perspective…
(Hodson and Marvin, 2009, p. 198)
Framing urban adaptation
• Resilience...
Engineering
“return time to a stable
state following a
perturbation”
versus
Ecological
“the amount of disturbance
that an ecosystem could
withstand without changing
self-organized processes
and structures”
• Adaptive capacity
• 2nd law of thermodynamics
• Cities as Social-Ecological Systems
Urban climate
change governance as adaptive
experimentation
Driver
Process
Practice
Goal
Climate
Change
Adaptation
Experimentation Resilience
Adaptive experiments
Fabricated
Queens
Building
North
Desert
Village
Mazdar
Scale
Urban
Landscape
Lab
Oxford Rd.
Manchester
Non-fabricated
Zaragoza
Key characteristics
• Place
• Relevance engenders transformation
• Learning facilitates adaptation – hence
experiments and knowledge institutions
• Changing world = adaptive
epistemologies?
An example: north desert village
• Central Arizona - Phoenix Long-Term Ecological
Research (CAP-LTER)
• North Desert Village “experimental suburb”
• ‘Experimental study’ of interactions between
people and their ecological environment at the
neighbourhood scale
• Manipulating vegetation types and irrigation
methods
• Exploring how landscape interactions affect
human perceptions and behaviours
Adaptive experimentation
• A method that allows
humans to adapt inside
the experiment and
alter its parameters
• Experimenting in situ
produces “more
accurate scientific
models”
(Cook et al. 2004, 467)
• Feedbacks between
resident preferences
and ecology used to
drive management.
Types of experiment
Agent of
Change
Technology Science
Planning
Local
knowledge
Example
Masdar
N. Desert
Village
Oxford Rd.
Corridor
Urban
Landscape
Lab
Types of
data
E and S
(use)
E and S
(prefs)
E
S
ICT use
High
High
Selective
Low
Commercial
emphasis
High
Low
High
Low
Adaptive epistemology
• A new form of knowledge production?
(placed, partnered, postmodern)
• Experiments as truth spots
• Adaptation as transformative or regressive
mode of urban planning?
• Auto-adapting landscapes – the future is
feedback?
[email protected]
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Cook, W., Casagrande, D, Hope, D., Groffman, P. and Collins, S. (2004) 'Learning to
roll with the punches: adaptive experimentation in human-dominated systems',
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2, 467-74.
Evans, J. (Forthcoming) Resilience, ecology and adaptation in the experimental city.
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Evans, J.and Karvonen, A. (Forthcoming) Living Laboratories for Sustainability:
Exploring the Politics and Epistemology of Urban Adaptation. In: H. Bulkeley, V.
Castán Broto, M. Hodson and S. Marvin (eds.) Cities and Low Carbon Transitions.
London: Routledge.
Gieryn, T. (2006) 'City as truth-spot: laboratories and field-sites in urban studies',
Social Studies of Science 36, 5-38.
Gunderson, L. (2000) ‘Ecological resilience in theory and application’, Annual Review
of Ecology and Systematics, 31, 425-439.
Hodson, M. and Marvin, S. (2009) 'Cities mediating technological transitions:
understanding visions, intermediation and consequences', Technology Analysis and
Strategic Management 21, 515-34.
Kohler, R. (2002) Landscapes and Labscapes: Exploring the Lab-Field Border in
Biology, Chicago: Chicago University Press.