Urbanization as taxidermy: “Man”hattanization of Mannahatta

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Purpose: This article unveils the similarities of today's space production systems with taxidermy. Giving examples from the transformation of natural environment during the history of Mannahatta (Manhattan), the article discusses the process of metamorphosis of habitats and ecosystems to anthropocentric artificial objects. Design/methodology/approach: Referencing Lefebvre, urbanization is conceptualized as the production of abstract space that ultimately stifles life; by analogy, space taxidermy. Findings: Using the analogy of taxidermy and abstract space production processes, the article introduces the necessity and the principles of restoring natural habitats. Originality/value: Re-writing the urban and architectural history of Manhattan by focusing on four different scenes from its life-span, the article introduces a novel; a new narrative of the history of the city from the perspective of human-nature relations and the various ways habitats were shaped on this island during history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-446
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Early online date21 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2021

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  • Architecture
  • Manhattan
  • Mannahatta
  • Space taxidermy
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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