Animating the urban: an ethological and geographical conversation

15 Jun 2018

Urban animals and their political ecologies constitute an arena of geographical scholarship that has intensified in recent years. Yet, little headway has been made in terms of understanding how sentient creatures inhabit and negotiate dynamic, metabolic environments. Focusing on urban macaques in Indian cities, the paper develops a conversation between geography and ethology. Firstly, the conversation provides insights into what urbanisation might entail for animals. Secondly, it assays ways in which non-human knowledges enable rethinking what expertise counts in urban governance. Thirdly, the conversation foregrounds other spatial topologies of the urban that become evident when animals’ lifeworlds are taken into account. The paper advances efforts to animate urban political ecology in registers yet inattentive to non-human lifeworlds. It concludes by reflecting upon the purchase of such etho-geographical conversations generate for political ecologies of urbanisation.