Sensory refugia: infrastructure, ecology, and the multispecies city

Lapiņa , L. (Organizer), Pinder, D. (Speaker), Sandra Jasper (Speaker), Henriette Steiner (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conference


This talk shifts the focus from sustained work on abandoned infrastructures as sites of transgressive human activities to the presence of nature in these spaces.Former railway yards, decommissioned airports, and other technological relics provide the substrate for new ecological assemblages. At the same time, these abandoned ecologies have particular ambient qualities. As breathing spaces from the intensities of urban life, they can serve as ‘sensory refugia’ highlighting the corporeal experience of urban space. Drawing on a range of historical and contemporary examples from Berlin, the talk examines how nature repurposes infrastructural spaces, thus challenging us to rethink infrastructure in terms of ecologies, temporalities, and design.

Discussants: Henriette Steiner, University of Copenhagen; David Pinder, Roskilde University
Period15 Apr 2021
Event typeLecture
LocationRoskilde, Denmark
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • urban nature
  • sensory ethnography
  • abandonment
  • ecology
  • embodied methodology
  • temporality
  • vague spaces