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Matthew Gandy

Matthew Gandy

Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography and Fellow of King's College

Biography

Matthew was born in Islington, North London. He is a cultural, urban, and environmental geographer with particular interests in landscape, infrastructure, and more recently bio-diversity. The historical scope of his work extends from the middle decades of the nineteenth century to the recent past. His research ranges from aspects of environmental history, including epidemiology, to contemporary intersections between nature and culture including the visual arts. His book Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City (MIT Press, 2002) was winner of the 2003 Spiro Kostof award for the book within the previous two years "that has made the greatest contribution to our understanding of urbanism and its relationship with architecture". His book The fabric of space: water, modernity, and the urban imagination (The MIT Press, 2014) was awarded the 2014 AAG Meridian Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography and the 2016 award for the most innovative book in planning history from the International Planning History Society. He is currently writing a research monograph on bio-diversity and urban nature and is Principal Investigator for the ERC Advanced Grant Rethinking urban nature.

Matthew has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, New York; the University of California, Los Angeles; Newcastle University; the Technical University, Berlin; the Humboldt University, Berlin; and the University of the Arts, Berlin. He was Founder and Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory (2005-11) and is a co-founder of the Urban Salon. Matthew is also actively involved in local issues in Hackney, east London, and is a member of Hackney Biodiversity Partnership and Sustainable Hackney. Since 2013 he has been co-editor of The International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. He was elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2015 and a fellow of the British Academy in 2016.

You can find more details about his projects and read his blog Cosmopolis at http://www.matthewgandy.org

Career

  • 1992-1997 School of European Studies, University of Sussex
  • 1997-2015 Department of Geography, University College London

Qualifications

  • 1988 BA in Geography, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge (first, with distinction)
  • 1992 PhD in Geography, London School of Economics

Research

My current work is focused on the following areas:

i) Redefining urban nature

Urban nature encompasses a disparate body of work and ideas ranging from scientific analysis of ecological assemblages to the cultural valorization of "cosmopolitan natures". I am interested in exploring changing meanings of urban nature through interdisciplinary and historical analysis of emerging cultures of nature under modernity.

See Gandy, M. Borrowed light: journeys through Weimar Berlin, in The fabric of space: water, modernity, and the urban imagination (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2014) pp. 55-79.

ii) Post-humanism and new conceptions of agency

By linking urban ecology with post-humanist insights there are clear points of interconnection with network-oriented ontologies of human subjectivity and extended conceptions of agency. I am building on my previous work on cyborg urbanization to examine corporeal dimensions to urban space including geographies of sound, light, and sexuality.

See Gandy, M. Queer ecology: nature, sexuality and urban heterotopic alliances. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 (2012) pp. 727-747 and Gandy, M. Negative luminescence. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 107 (2017).

iii) Epidemiology, insect vectors and the political ecology of water

There is significant scope for a critically reworked political ecology, in combination with new insights into the independent agency of nature, to explore evolving relationships between human health and the urban environment. Although existing studies within environmental history and other fields have emphasized the role of infrastructure networks and other measures against the threat of water-borne disease these insights can be extended to other socio-ecological dimensions of urban space.

See Gandy, M. Mosquitoes, malaria, and post-colonial Lagos, in The fabric of space: water, modernity, and the urban imagination (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2014) pp. 81-108.

iv) Wastelands and urban bio-diversity

I have long been fascinated by "wastelands" since my early forays into London's so-called "bomb sites". A focus on spontaneous forms of urban nature transcends the merely speculative or utilitarian potentialities of ostensibly empty spaces. Within urban ecology significant attention has been devoted to wastelands as "ecological refugia" or "islands" of bio-diversity. These spontaneous ecologies serve as "accidental laboratories" for cultural and scientific curiosity.

See Gandy, M. Marginalia: aesthetics, ecology, and urban wastelands. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103 (6) (2013) pp. 1301-1316.

v) Aesthetics, landscape and "non-design"

Ecological rhetoric is often widely deployed as a pretext for the elimination of pre-existing spaces of nature that already have high levels of cultural and scientific interest. But what kind of landscape aesthetics is invoked by the protection of spontaneous spaces of urban nature? How can cultural or scientific complexity become part of a vibrant public culture? My recent research on Gilles Clément, for example, suggests that a different kind of synthesis between ecological science and urban design might be possible.

See Gandy, M. Entropy by design: Gilles Clément, Parc Henri Matisse and the limits to avant-garde urbanism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37 (1) (2013) pp. 259-278 and Gandy, M. Unintentional landscapes. Landscape Research 41 (4) (2016) pp. 443-440.

vi) Marginal spaces and cultural practice

The ambiguity of urban nature and the limits to scientific knowledge have been a focus for a variety of cultural interventions since the early 1970s. In these instances close observation, or the "botanical eye", becomes a specific form of cultural-scientific practice that can reveal new insights into the production of space and the often arbitrary assignment of cultural and economic value. The multiplicity of cultural responses to urban nature, ranging from literature to cinema, is partly related to the diversity of such sites and their varied origins: whilst some spaces have developed spontaneously within ostensibly "empty" sites, others have emerged from neglect or abandonment.

See Gandy, M. Landscapes of deliquescence in Michelangelo Antonioni's. Red Desert. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 28 (2) (2003), pp. 218-238.

Publications

Selected publications:

Books

  • Gandy, M. 2016 Moth (London: Reaktion) (in press).
  • Gandy, M. 2015 Nature, sexualité, et hétérotopie (Paris: Eterotopia) pp. 72.
  • Gandy, M. 2014 The fabric of space: water, modernity and the urban imagination (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press) pp. 368. Link to MIT Press
  • Gandy, M. and Nilsen, B.J. (eds.) 2014 The acoustic city (Berlin: jovis) pp. 224.
  • Gandy, M. (ed.) 2011 Urban constellations (Berlin: jovis) pp. 208.
  • Frank, S. and Gandy, M. (eds.) 2006 Hydropolis: Wasser und die Stadt der Moderne (Frankfurt: Campus) pp. 371.
  • Gandy, M. and Zumla, A. (eds.) 2003 The return of the White Plague: global poverty and the 'new' tuberculosis (London and New York: Verso) pp. 380.
  • Gandy, M. 2002 Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press) pp. 344.

Journal articles

2015

  • Gandy, M. Unintentional landscapes. Journal of Landscape Research (in press).
  • Gandy, M. The glare of modernity LA+: Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture (in press).
  • Gandy, M. 2015 From urban ecology to ecological urbanism: an uncertain trajectory. Area 147 (2) pp. 150-155.

2014

  • Gandy, M. 2014 Biodiversity, Lepidoptera and Berlin. The Entomologist's Record 126 pp. 48-57

2013

  • Gandy, M. 2013 Marginalia: aesthetics, ecology, and urban wastelands. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103 (6) pp. 1301-1316. [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2013 Entropy by design: Gilles Clément, Parc Henri Matisse and the limits to avant-garde urbanism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37 (1) pp. 259-278. [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2013 El resurgir de Zoöpolis: biodiversidad, paisaje y ecologías cosmopolitas / Zoöpolis redux: biodiversity, landscape, and cosmopolitan ecologies. Urban: Revista del Departmento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Territorio 3 pp. 3-8.

2012

  • Gandy, M. 2012 Queer ecology: nature, sexuality and urban heterotopic alliances. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 pp. 727-747. [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2012 Where does the city end? Architectural Design 82 (1) pp. 128-32 [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2012 Neo-Bankside. Architectural Design 82 (1) pp. 50-54.

2011

  • Gandy, M. 2011 Water as an object of enquiry. International Journal of Sustainable Urban Development 3 (1) pp. 132-33.

2010

  • Gandy, M. 2010 Mannahatta and the limits to natural history. Cartographica 45 (4), pp. 253-55.
  • Gandy, M. 2010 Vicissitudes of urban nature: transitions and transformations at a global scale. Radical History Review 107, pp. 178-84.
  • Gandy, M. 2010 The ecological façades of Patrick Blanc. Architectural Design 80 (3) (May/June) pp. 28-33.
  • Gandy, M. 2010 The persistence of complexity: re-reading Donna Haraway's Cyborg manifesto. AA Files 60 pp. 42-44.

2009

  • Gandy, M. 2009 Urban flux. Architectural Design 79 (4) (September/October) pp. 12-17.
  • Gandy, M. 2009 Starting points: Gilles Clement and the recuperation of space. New Geographies 1, pp. 110-19.
  • Gandy, M. 2009 Geography, books and publishing: an Anglo-American perspective Progress in Human Geography 33 (1) pp. 107-9.
  • Gandy, M. 2009 Liquid city Cultural Geographies 16 (3), pp. 408-13.

2008

  • Gandy, M. 2008 Above the treetops: nature, history and the limits to philosophical naturalism. Geoforum 39 (2), pp. 561-69.
  • Gandy, M. 2008 Landscapes of disaster: water, modernity and urban fragmentation in Mumbai. Environment and Planning A, 40, pp. 108-40.
  • Gandy, M. 2008 Neither Archetype nor exception: the case of Bombay/Mumbai. Topos: The International Review of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design 63, pp. 80-85.

2007

  • Gandy, M. 2007 Zwischen Stadt und Unstadt: Wasser und die Moderne in Mumbai. Stadt Bauwelt 176, pp. 26-55.

2006

  • Gandy, M. 2006 The bacteriological city and its discontents. Historical Geography, 34, pp. 14-25.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Riparian anomie: reflections on the Los Angeles River. Landscape Research, 31 (2), pp. 135-45.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Zones of indistinction: some thoughts on the bio-politics of urban space. Cultural Geographies, 13 (4), pp. 1-20.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 The drowned world: J. G. Ballard and the politics of catastrophe. Space and Culture 9 (1), pp. 86-88.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Planning, anti-planning and the infrastructure crisis facing metropolitan Lagos. Urban Studies 43 (2), pp. 371-96 [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Stadt als Cyborg: Anmerkungen zu einer neuen Debatte. Informationen zur modernen Stadtgeschichte 1 (2), pp. 100-113.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Urban disorder on the global periphery: violence, insecurity and social justice in twenty-first century Lagos. Trialog: Zeitschrift für das Planen und Bauen in der Dritten Welt 87 (4), pp. 42-7.

2005

  • Gandy, M. 2005 Learning from Lagos. New Left Review 33 pp. 36-52 [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2005 Cyborg urbanization: complexity and monstrosity in the contemporary city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 29 (1) pp. 26-49.
[ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2005 Deadly alliances: death, disease and the global politics of public health. PLoS Medicine 2 (1) e4. [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2005 Das Wasser, die Moderne und der Niedergang der bakteriologischen Stadt. Leviathan: Zeitschrift für Sozialwissenschaft 33 (4), pp. 522-43.

2004

  • Gandy, M. 2004 Rethinking urban metabolism: water, space and the modern city. City 8 (3) , pp. 371-87.
[ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2004 Lagos trotz Koolhaas. Bauwelt / Stadtbauwelt 48 (164), pp. 20-31.

2003

  • Gandy, M. 2003 The making of metropolitan nature: a response to Heiman, Lake and Mitchell, Antipode 35 (5), pp. 1022-28.
  • Gandy, M. 2003 Landscapes of deliquescence in Michelangelo Antonioni's Red Desert. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 28 (2), pp. 218-238.
[ PDF download ]

2002

  • Gandy, M. 2002 Between Borinquen and the barrio : radical political activism in the New York City Puerto Rican Community 1969-1972. Antipode 34 (4), pp. 730-761.
  • Gandy, M. and Zumla, A. 2002 The resurgence of disease: social and historical perspectives on the 'new' tuberculosis. Social Science and Medicine 55 (5), pp. 385-396.

2001

  • Gandy, M. 2001 Science, society and disease: emerging perspectives. Current opinion in pulmonary medicine 7 (3), pp.12-19.
  • Gandy, M. 2001 'Paysage, esthétiques et idéologie. Géographie et Cultures 39, pp. 108-115.

1999

  • Gandy, M. 1999 The Paris sewers and the rationalization of urban space. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 24 (1), pp. 23-44.
  • Gandy, M. 1999 Rethinking the ecological leviathan: environmental regulation in an age of risk. Global Environmental Change 9 (1), pp. 59-69.

1997

  • Gandy, M. 1997 Contradictory modernities: conceptions of nature in the art of Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 87 (4), pp. 636-659. [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 1997 The making of a regulatory crisis: the restructuring of New York City's water supply. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 22 (3), pp. 338-358.
  • Gandy, M. 1997 Ecology, modernity and the intellectual legacy of the Frankfurt School. Philosophy and Geography 1: Space, Place and Environmental Ethics 1, pp. 231-255.

1996

  • Gandy, M. 1996 The heretical landscape of the body: Pier Paolo Pasolini and the scopic regime of European cinema. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 14 (3), pp. 293-310.
  • Gandy, M. 1996 Crumbling land: the postmodernity debate and the analysis of environmental problems. Progress in Human Geography 20 (1), pp. 23-40.
  • Gandy, M. 1996 Visions of darkness: the representation of nature in the films of Werner Herzog. Ecumene 3 (1), pp. 1-21.

Book chapters

  • Gandy, M. 2014 Strange accumulations: the soundscapes of late modernity, in J. G. Ballard's The Sound-Sweep, in Gandy, M. and Nilsen, B.J. (eds.) The acoustic city (Berlin: jovis) pp. 33-39.
  • Gandy, M. 2014 Acoustic terrains: an introduction, in Gandy, M. and Nilsen, B.J. (eds.) The acoustic city (Berlin: jovis, 2014) pp. 7-13.
  • Gandy, M. 2013 'A despatch from the future,' in Bell, S. and Paskins, J. (eds.) Imagining the future city: London 2062 (London: Ubiquity Press) pp. 163-165.
  • Gandy, M. 2012 The melancholy observer: landscape, neo-romanticism and the politics of documentary film making, in Brad Praeger (ed.) Companion to Werner Herzog (Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell) pp. 528-546.
  • Gandy, M. 2011 Interstitial landscapes: reflections on a Berlin corner, in Gandy, M. (ed.) Urban constellations (Berlin: jovis) pp. 149-152. [ PDF download ]
  • Gandy, M. 2010 The texture of space: desire and displacement in Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman of the dunes [Suna no onna], in Douglas Richardson, Stephen Daniels, Dydia de Lyser and Nick Entrikin (eds.) Geography and the humanities (London and New York: Routledge) pp. 198-208.
  • Gandy, M. 2010 Landscape and infrastructure in the late-modern metropolis, in Watson, S. and Bridge, G. (eds.) The new Blackwell companion to the city (Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell) pp. 57-65.
  • Gandy, M. 2010 Between science and aesthetics: the ecological art of Ulrike Mohr, in Susanne Köhler (ed.) Walderwärts (Wolfsburg) pp. 11-13.
  • Gandy, M. 2008 Disease and urbanization, in Ali, Harris and Keil, Roger (ed.) Networked disease: emerging infectious disease in the global city (Oxford: Blackwell) pp. 172-85.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 The cinematic void: the representation of desert space in Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, in Martin Lefebvre, (ed.), Landscape and film (London: Routledge) pp. 315-32.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Urban nature and the ecological imaginary, in Erik Swyngedouw, Nik Heynan and Maria Kaïka (eds.), In the nature of cities: urban political ecology and the politics of urban metabolism (London: Routledge) pp. 63-74.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Space and place, in Austin Harrington, Barbara Marshall and Hans-Peter Müller (eds.), Encyclopaedia of social theory (London: Routledge) pp. 585-87.
  • Gandy, M. and Frank, S. 2006 Einführung, in S. Frank and M. Gandy (eds.) Hydropolis: Wasser und die Stadt der Moderne (Frankfurt a.M.: Campus) pp. 9-18.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Das Wasser, die Moderne und der Niedergang der bakteriologischen Stadt, in S. Frank and M. Gandy (eds.) Hydropolis: Wasser und die Stadt der Moderne (Frankfurt a.M.: Campus) pp. 19-40.
  • Gandy, M. 2006 Grenzen der Stadtplanung: Infrastruckturkrisen im postkolonialen Lagos, in S. Frank and M. Gandy (eds.) Hydropolis: Wasser und die Stadt der Moderne (Frankfurt a.M.: Campus) pp. 345-68.
  • Gandy, M. 2004 Water, modernity and the emancipatory city, in Loretta Lees, ed., Emancipatory urbanism (London: Sage) pp. 179-91.
  • Gandy, M. 2004 Towns, in Stephan Harrison; Steve Pile and Nigel Thrift (eds.) Patterned ground: ecologies and geographies of nature and culture (London: Reaktion) pp. 94-6.
  • Gandy, M. 2003 Allergy and allegory in Todd Haynes's <Safe>: an exploration of the ecological risks of late modernity in Mark Shiel and Tony FitzMaurice (eds.) Screening the city (London and New York: Verso), pp. 239-261.
  • Gandy, M. (and Zumla, A.) 2003 Introduction, in M. Gandy and A. Zumla (eds.) The return of the White Plague: global poverty and the 'new' tuberculosis (London and New York: Verso) pp. 7-12.
  • Gandy, M. 2003 Life without germs: contested episodes in the history of tuberculosis, in M. Gandy and A. Zumla (eds.) The return of the White Plague: global poverty and the 'new' tuberculosis (London and New York: Verso) pp. 15-38.
  • Gandy, M. (and Zumla, A.) 2003 Epilogue: politics, science, and the "new" tuberculosis, in M. Gandy and A. Zumla (eds.) The return of the White Plague: global poverty and the 'new' tuberculosis (London and New York: Verso) pp. 237-41.
  • Gandy, M. 2003 Introduction to Stanley Greenberg Waterworks: a photographic journey through New York's hidden water system (New York: Princeton Architectural Press) pp. 1-27.
  • Gandy, M. 2002 Recycling the past: the dilemmas of ecological urbanism, in Mark Hewitt and Susannah Hagen (eds.) City fights: debates on urban sustainability (London: James and James) pp. 57-68.
  • Gandy, M. 1998 Postmodernism and environmentalism: competing or contradictory discourses, in Michael Redclift and Graham Holdgate (eds.) The international handbook of environmental sociology (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar) pp. 150-58.

Other publications

  • Gandy, M. (with Boudreau, J-A. and Kaïka, M.) 2015 Editorial. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39 (1) pp. i-v.
  • Gandy, M. 2014 Urban space in perspective: an interview with Aaron Henry. Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research 25 pp. 253-258.
  • Gandy, M. 2014 Urban metabolisms. New Geographies 6 pp. 70-78.
  • Gandy, M. 2013 Lagos im Fieber. Le Monde diplomatique (July).
  • Gandy, M. 2013 The scopic regimes of urban neglect, interview with Ash Amin Cityscapes 3 pp. 86-99.
  • Gandy, M. 2013 In conversation with JoLA. Journal of Landscape Architecture 8 (2) pp. 42-43.
  • Gandy, M. 2012 Symbolic stasis. Fulcrum 32 (18 January).
  • Gandy, M. 2012 Introduction to virtual issue on New York City of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (10 February).
  • Gandy, M. 2010. Of time and the city. Essay to accompany the British Film Institute's release of Terence Davies's 2008 film Of time and the city (London: BFI, 2010).
  • Gandy, M. 2008 The complicity of the mundane: landscapes of memory in Friedrichroda. Essay for the exhibition catalogue for Tense: Judith Tucker (Leeds: Wild Pansy Press) pp. 24-7

Films

  • Liquid city (2007). Director
  • Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin (2017). Director

Teaching

  • Part IA Cultural Geography (contributions)
  • Part IB Berlin
  • Part II Global Urbanism (contributions)
  • Part II Landscape and Power

External activities

  • AHRC Peer Review College
  • ESRC Peer Review College
  • Co-editor for The International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
  • Editorial boards for Architecture and Culture (2013-); Cultural Geographies (1999-); Landscape Research (2000-); Local Environment (2008-12); International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2007-); Sub/Urban (2013-).