“Urban wastescapes: on the material and symbolic geographies of discards in Fresh Kills Landfill, New York City”
Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, New York, is the largest human-engineered formation in the world. The landscape was originally salt marsh, but from 1948 to 2001 it became New York’s premier landfill. It then was briefly a cemetery, accepting human remains and building rubble from the destroyed Twin Towers of September 11, 2001. Today it is the focus of a mammoth reclamation project to turn a wastescape into an ecoscape. Some have viewed the site as a “social sculpture,” a reflection of our material culture, our consumerism, and our sense of value and worthlessness. Indeed, Fresh Kills is both site and symbol.
Time: Tue 2015-12-15 10.15 - 11.45
Lecturer: Martin V. Melosi, University of Houston, Texas
Location: KTH School of Architecture, Osquars backe 5, lecture hall A108
Martin V. Melosi is Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor and Director of the Center for Public History at the University of Houston in Texas. He is internationally renowned for his research in environmental history, urban history, energy history and history of technology. Among his numerous book publications are Atomic Age America (2013); The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present (2000, re-released 2008); Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America’s Cities (2011); Energy Metropolis: An Environmental History of Houston and the Gulf Coast (with Joseph Pratt, 2007); and Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform and the Environment (rev. ed. 2005).
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