Power of the senses

Cities are human made products and consequently the morphology of spaces in the city structure and express the values of a society. Urban landscapes can be understood as ideological constructs whose physical structure reflects and maintains social power relations and the senses are crucial in mediating, structuring and contesting spatial power relations.


The way we sensed is ‘trained’ through the particular professions we work in and is based on years of experience. Professional training informs and shapes the ‘sensing’ of cities. Moreover, professionals work within the boundaries of a number of constraints such as legal frameworks, time pressures, economic and political constraints that frame how the senses are ‘curated’ in the public realm. Cross-professional and interdisciplinary teams are therefore important to understand from multiple perspectives how the senses interact and how perception is organised.

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