Urban geography

Neoclassical location theoristsfollowing in the tradition of Alfred Webertend to focus on industrial location and use quantitative methods. Since the s, two broad reactions against neoclassical approaches have significantly changed the discipline:

Urban geography

Regular Edible Geography readers will know that smellscapes are a recurring subplot of this blog — a diversion that I justify on the basis that roughly ninety percent of what we perceive as taste is actually smell.

For the most part, the built environment consists of accidental and overlooked odours — an unintentional backdrop of neighbourhood Urban geography laws, off-gassing cabinetry, scented cleaning products, and HVAC.

Architecture, urban planning, and interior design operate primarily as visual practices, with little thought given to the auditory qualities of a space, and even Urban geography to olfactory experience. Nonetheless, smell can shape spatial perception at least as powerfully as light or sound, producing atmosphere, narrative, and even form.

Urban geography

In addition to describing her smellwalking methodology, Victoria discusses the olfactory impact of gentrification, the search for the stinkiest urine in England, and the importance of smellmarks in urban placemaking, as well as her new work on the sensory qualities of thermal experience and the intriguingly named National Vibration Project, and much more.

Designing at the sensory level means designing space, rather than just its enclosures — it involves the conscious consideration of invisible, relational, and dynamic information to augment or reshape the urban experience.

An edited transcript of our conversation appears below. What goes into planning the route for a smell walk? Do you scout it out first, or do you just set off and smell whatever you come across? My preference is to visit the site beforehand, just so I can point people in the direction of interesting things and be a better guide.

It was actually very clean, apart from the fact that there were loads of cigarette ends. The space under the stairs, Sheffield photo by Victoria Henshaw. Barry Truax has talked about this from the point of view of acoustic ecology: The smell-walkers in action, photo by Victoria Henshaw.

Who comes on your smell walks? The event in Sheffield was originally targeted at the Yorkshire Urban Design Groupso it was largely design professionals — urban designers, architects, town planners, and students in those fields.

I organized the Seattle walk as part of the American Association of Geographers annual conferenceand so, by its very nature, it was mostly geographers. But within my PhD research, I also did smell walks with local business people, residents, and people who worked in Doncaster town centre.

I also had access to a lot of data from sensory walks that had been carried out with residents of different cities across England, as part of a project called VivaCity They asked people to take photographs of their local area and then take the researcher on a ten-minute walk anywhere near where they lived.

How does your area taste? How does it sound?

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Doncaster smellmarks, photo by Victoria Henshaw. Have you found a difference in the kinds of things that the professional designers perceive on a smell walk, versus the residents?

Urban geography - Wikipedia Integrated geography Environmental geography is concerned with the description of the spatial interactions between humans and the natural world. It requires an understanding of the traditional aspects of physical and human geography, as well as the ways that human societies conceptualize the environment.
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Geography - Wikipedia Research interest[ edit ] Urban geographers are primarily concerned with the ways in which cities and towns are constructed, governed and experienced [3].

Design professionals were thinking about smell in terms of managing the city. Those with responsibility for managing the town centre thought it was a disgusting smell, that it really lowered the tone of the area, and that it should be banished.

Burger van, by Flickr user Evissa. Now, something surprising that came out of my research is that when I asked people to rate their own sense of smell before the walk, the female participants rated their sense of smell much higher than the male participants did. But actually, when we went out there, men and women were detecting exactly the same thing.

However, I found that there was really no difference in gender performance when it came to detecting smells, but that the women showed a lot more disgust toward smells. Is it possible that the women rated their sense of smell as better simply because their perceptual experience is stronger?

Before each walk, I asked everybody to explain their own rating of their sense of smell. It seems to be a socialisation of smell response that happens as people get older.

Sheffield panorama, photo by Flickr user meltonhill. In other words, not being able to stand the smell of urine or vomit might be less about the quality of the odour and more about a sense of danger associated with alleys and the backs of buildings and so on.

Doncaster fish market, via Flickr user William Thomas. What happens when a new smell is introduced into a city? One good example of that comes from the Copley Road district, in Doncaster. Doncaster is traditionally a very working class town with very little racial mix.

In the past five years, the Copley Road area specifically has seen a large influx of different ethnic minorities. It was an interesting place to visit on my smell walks because there were the cooking odours of a lot of different ethnically-associated foods all within a small area — Thai food, Afghan cuisine, Turkish food, and so on.

Copley Road, Doncaster, via. Sheffield balti house, photo by Flickr user Ashok. Because this was quite a new thing to Doncaster, people came at it from two completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Some people really liked the smells and thought of them as a sign of Doncaster becoming a cosmopolitan city.Accept.

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