Urban Porosity and material contamination: From cholera to COVID-19 in Copenhagen

Mikkel Thelle*, Mikkel Bille

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


As a way of approaching the multiple ways a pandemic affects urban life, the authors suggest the notion of porosity. Through this, the article revisits the Danish capital during the cholera an typhus attacks, noticing how porosity is mobilized around contagious materials and bodies. Relating this to the COVID-19 outbreak, the article goes on to note how the porosity also can be seen in a temporal sense, stretching out from the fragile present to the promise of a new normality for the city and its metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for the History of Environment and Society
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)171-180
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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