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Make kin, not cities! Multispecies entanglements and ‘becoming-world’ in planning theory


Houston, D and Hillier, J and MacCallum, D and Steele, W and Byrne, J, Make kin, not cities! Multispecies entanglements and becoming-world' in planning theory, Planning Theory, 17, (2) pp. 190-212. ISSN 1473-0952 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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© The Author(s) 2017

DOI: doi:10.1177/1473095216688042


Much planning theory has been undergirded by an ontological exceptionalism of humans. Yet, city planning does not sit outside of the eco-social realities co-producing the Anthropocene. Urban planners and scholars, therefore, need to think carefully and critically about who speaks for (and with) the nonhuman in place making. In this article, we identify two fruitful directions for planning theory to better engage with the imbricated nature of humans and nonhumans is recognised as characteristic of the Anthropocene – multispecies entanglements and becoming-world. Drawing on the more-than-human literature in urban and cultural geography and the environmental humanities, we consider how these terms offer new possibilities for productively rethinking the ontological exceptionalism of humans in planning theory. We critically explore how planning theory might develop inclusive, ethical relationships that can nurture possibilities for multispecies flourishing in diverse urban futures, the futures that are increasingly recognised as co-produced by nonhuman agents in the context of climate variability and change. This, we argue, is critical for developing climate-adaptive planning tools and narratives for the creation of socially and environmentally just multispecies cities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Anthropocene, social theory, cities, climate change, justice, ecosystems
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Urban geography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Social impacts of climate change and variability
UTAS Author:Byrne, J (Professor Jason Byrne)
ID Code:126665
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:79
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-06-20
Last Modified:2018-07-23

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