Morning walk, Stockholm 6 April 2020

11: Post-traumatic urbanism and radical indigenism

How cities post-coronavirus can benefit from the distributed patterns of post-traumatic urbanism meeting radical indigenism, Wakanda meeting Aalto, and ‘Lo-TEK’ nature-based technologies meeting contemporary infrastructures.

Dan Hill
Dan Hill
Apr 7, 2020 · 29 min read

Can a post-traumatic urbanism help us make more resilient cities?

‘Le Paris du 1/4 heure’, or Paris as 15 minute city
AD Special Issue:Post‐Traumatic Urbanism
A key text, particularly if we extend the idea to a social life beyond humans

“Though Tokyo was now impoverished, new shops still bubbled up from the depths to open up like flowers; just sitting on a park bench, you never got tired of watching the people go by. Walking around the city made the gears in your brain start turning. People had begun to realise that these simple pleasures were the most delicious part of the fruit we call everyday life, which is why even though the houses were small and food was scarce, they still wanted to live in Tokyo.” — Excerpt from ‘The Last Children of Tokyo’, by Yoko Towada (2018)

What does the Slowdown hint for the possible materials, systems, and infrastructures of cities?

The urban form in Wakanda; stills from the film ‘Black Panther’ (2018)
From “There are no cars in Wakanda”, Allison Arieff for V&A Cars exhibition (2019)
Julia Watson’s ‘Lo-TEK’ (2019) and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s ‘The Mushroom at the End of the World’ (2015)
A young fisherman walks under the ancient tree root bridge at Mawlynnong village (The Atlantic). Photography by Amos Chapple
Alvar Aalto’s Paimio sanatorium (1929), designed specifically for tuberculosis suffers yet influencing modernist architecture generally. How will our buildings, infrastructure and cities respond to the virus? (Photographs by Suvi Kesäläinen, from FinnishDesignStories)
WPA-era New York City Housing Authority poster
Spreads from Julia Watson’s ‘Lo-TEK’ (2019). The only gap, for me at least, in Watson’s wonderful book is in noting any projects from the north of the Northern hemisphere (a latitude that, for me, runs across the Nordics, Canada, top of the US. Approx. 40°N–70°N) or from Australia. These are the areas my work tends to end up in, for one thing, but I’d also be fascinated to hear about Sámi peoples’ TEK, for instance.
Mitigation of Shock, Superflux, part of 2219: Futures Imagined, ArtScience Museum Singapore
From Calling for a More-Than-Human Politics by Anab Jain
From ‘Mitigation of Shock’, from Calling from a More-Than-Human Politics by Anab Jain
Janicki Bioenergy Omniprocessor, Dakar, Senegal. Not bad.
Or this? East Kolkata Wetlands. Probably better.
East Kolkata Wetlands, in Julia Watson’s book ‘Lo-TEK’ (2019)

“We respond to disaster; we don’t think of preventative measures. And understanding ecosystems is about prevention and having a deep relationship with the land that you’re working with. It’s survival through symbiosis, not survival of the fittest.” — Julia Watson

Slowdown Papers

1: Writing to memory

2: The pitiless crowbar of events

3: Remember the bushfires to remember the virus

4: We make the virus and the virus makes us

5: The curves beyond the curve

6: A language in crisis

7: Cultures of decision-making, in Sweden and beyond

8: An A/B test on our way of life

9: The restoration

10: Another Green World

11: Post-traumatic urbanism and radical indigenism

12: Between the roots and the stars

13: From Lockdown to Slowdown

Slowdown Papers

A series of reflections and loose extrapolations, based on the early impact of the Coronavirus

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By Slowdown Papers

The newsletter accompanying the Slowdown Papers, a series of observations on the early impact of COVID–19 and the broader idea of slowdown, particularly concerning our infrastructures of everyday life Take a look.

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Slowdown Papers

The Slowdown Papers are a series of observations, reflections and loose extrapolations, based on the early impact of the Coronavirus COVID–19 pandemic, particularly on the way we make decisions about cities, systems, infrastructures, cultures, and technologies.

Dan Hill

Written by

Dan Hill

Designer, urbanist, etc. Director of Strategic Design at Vinnova, Swedish govt’s innovation agency. Visiting prof UCL Bartlett IIPP + Design Academy Eindhoven

Slowdown Papers

The Slowdown Papers are a series of observations, reflections and loose extrapolations, based on the early impact of the Coronavirus COVID–19 pandemic, particularly on the way we make decisions about cities, systems, infrastructures, cultures, and technologies.

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