Rethinking Urban Nature

European Research Council awards prestigious grant for major new Urban Lab research programme.

We are delighted to announce the award of a prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant of €2,484,238 for the project 'Rethinking Urban Nature', to be led by Professor Matthew Gandy, with the Urban Laboratory as the project's intellectual and administrative hub. This major five-year cross-disciplinary project involves the employment of three postdoctoral researchers and two doctoral students to study forms of urban nature in Berlin, Chennai, London and Tallin.

Urban Lab


The Acoustic City


Just finished an essay for The Acoustic City, edited by Matthew Gandy and BJ Nilsen. My essay "Acoustic ecology: Hans Scharoun and modernist experimentation in West Berlin" explores the links between sound, music, and architecture, and the persistence of a modernist belief in the potential of design and technological innovation in the 1960s in West Berlin.

Watch out for the book, which will be out in May 2014, and launch events in Berlin and London.

The Acoustic City will consist of a series of cutting-edge essays on sound and the city accompanied by a specially commissioned CD with field recordings, compositions, and music. The book will comprise five thematic sections: sound mappings including cartographic and conceptual approaches to the representation and interpretation of soundscapes; sound cultures including specific associations between place, music and sound; acoustic flânerie and the recording of urban sounds (including bats, birds and urban nature) as well as reflections on the “auditory self” with links to cultural history and literary theory; acoustic ecology including relationships between architecture, sound, and urban design; and the politics of sound extending to human well-being, noise abatement, and the changing characteristics of ambient sound. This innovative essay collection will be of interest to a wide range of disciplines including architecture, cultural studies, geography, musicology and urban sociology.


Interview in BLOW UP magazine


I was interviewed by Leandro Pisano on "soundscapes of abandoned places" for the Italian magazine BLOW UP. This issue also features Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Thomas Nordanstand, John Grzinich, Maksims Shentelevz, Enrico Ruggeri and Elio Rosolino Cassarà.


A week in Brussels teaching | The Art of Listening


Transmedia presents: The Art of Listening 3, Touch's residency in Brussels, January 21-25 2013, with Mike Harding & BJNilsen. This residency is part of the Masters Degree course at Sint Lucas College (Luca).

1st and 2nd year students from Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Venezuela...

My input this year is on sound, urbanization and acoustic design in the Philharmonie Berlin

Read more: The Art of Listening 3

Live updates on student presentations #theartoflistening follow me on Twitter @sandra_jasper


Stadtkolloquium | 4th Annual Workshop 2013 – 25 & 26th March


If you are a doctoral student, check this out:

Stadtkolloquium, in conjunction with UCL’s Urban Laboratory, is pleased to announce its annual 2-day work shop for PhD research students in urban-related disciplines. The workshop will provide an open, informal and intimate space to collaborate and discuss progress amongst peers with regard to topical, theoretical, practical and methodological concerns. We therefore welcome contributions from students at all stages of the dissertation process. Deadline for proposals: 15th of January 2013. More info here.


The Sound of Berlin | Touch Radio 81

Photo: Jon Wozencroft

My first post ... a retrospective. In July, I gave a presentation on The Sound of Berlin for TOUCH invites ... an evening of talks & performances curated by TOUCH at music venue Café Oto in London. In case you missed it, listen to a mix of the evening on Touch Radio 81 here.



sandra [at] sandrajasper [dot] net

twiiter.jpg @sandra_jasper



Dr Sandra Jasper is working as a post-doctoral researcher at the UCL Urban Laboratory and the UCL Geography Department in London. She is conducting research on Rethinking Urban Nature, a project funded by the European Research Council. Sandra has published essays in Matthew Gandy (ed.) Urban Constellations (Jovis, 2011), and Matthew Gandy and Benny Nilsen (eds.) The Acoustic City (Jovis, 2014). He doctoral thesis "Cyborg Imaginations: Nature, Technology, and Urban Space in West Berlin" investigated the island city as experimental space. She is the founder of Stadtkolloquium, and international research network for postgraduate urban scholars.



Essay on Hans Scharoun's Philharmonie Berlin as an architectural space for expanded listening in What Matters Now? Ebook published by NOCH ed. by Daniela Cascella & Paolo Inverni


Essay on Berlin's Phantom Limbs in a collection of vignettes on cities, urbanization and urban culture Urban Constellations ed. by Matthew Gandy




Sandra Jasper is a geographer researching cities and urban culture. Sandra lives and works in Berlin and London for UCL. She graduated in Geography and Gender Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin in 2008 and has just completed her doctoral dissertation at University College London, Department of Geography, in affiliation with the the Urban Laboratory. Her project investigates the interconnections of the body and space through the urban enclave of West Berlin (1961-1989).

Examples explored in the thesis are Berlin’s 'phantom limbs' that emerged from the city’s division and acoustic spaces, such as the Philharmonic concert hall. She is teaching in the MSc Urban Studies and started Stadtkolloquium, a forum for urban doctoral students to share research.



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