Is digital technology changing the forms of urban nature?
NATURPRADI – Nature(s) urbaine(s) en pratique(s) digitale(s) (urban nature(s) in digital practice(s)) – studies the social, political and technological effects of the return of nature in cities, particularly through new technology and participatory frameworks.
In a context of much uncertainty and speculation as to the future of urban areas, we are currently witnessing a return of nature to cities, in various new forms: shared gardens, urban farming, and green walls and roofs. In Paris, this movement is being encouraged by the municipality through the “végétalisation Paris” (Paris greening) programme.
The research project NATURPRADI – Nature(s) urbaine(s) en pratique(s) digitale(s) (urban nature(s) in digital practice(s)) –, funded by the ADEME, investigates this movement and its connection with the generalization of digital technology. The central question is: does digital technology change the way nature is produced in cities, and therefore the forms of urban nature?
NATURPRADI studies and describes the social, political and technological effects of the initiatives approved by the Municipality of Paris to reintroduce greenery into the city, in response to issues relating to urban growth. Based on its findings, the project maps the symbolic and material elements of the debate on urban nature in order to inform reflection on future urban policies.
This project therefore seeks to understand the role and form of nature in Paris in the context of the emergence of new technology and so-called innovative and highly participatory project frameworks.
NATURPRADI is an action research project articulating three research methodologies across a real/virtual continuum:
- an urban planning method to observe the process of co-construction of the city by the various stakeholders (LaaVUE),
- an anthropological method of qualitative field research projects (MNHN),
- and a digital method, led by Médialab, which takes the Web as its field.
- The Laboratoire Architecture Ville Urbanisme Environnement (LaaVUE)
- The joint research unit UMR 7206 “Eco-Anthropology and Ethnobiology”
- Médialab processes (collection and visualization) the digital traces left by nature actors in the city during their online interactions.
- The City of Paris