Controlled Environments


Cities have always experimented with controlled environments designed to sustain and enhance human life. New technologies, urbanisation, and a changing climate are altering how we interact with nature in cities. There is strategic interest in creating artificial environments that enhance urban atmospheres and ecologies.

The theme examines whether controlled environments create new system-wide infrastructural responses designed to maintain and improve urban ecologies.

Research Questions

  • Is the capacity to create controlled urban ecologies a key international economic, social and security priority? 
  • How and where are new processes of environmental and atmospheric enclosure developing across different domains of urban life?
  • What forms of knowledge, technologies and practices support the production of controlled urban environments?
  • What tensions are associated with controlled environments designed to insulate urban spaces from atmospheric and ecological turbulences?


Theme Lead: Simon Marvin

UI members: Aidan While

Associates: Nick Taylor-Buck | Andy Lockhart

Visitors: Emma critchley | Donald McNeill | Jonathan Rutherford



Journal articles
Book chapters
Reports and other outputs

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