Professors Velikov and Thün’s article Conduit Urbanism published in New Geographies Journal: 02 Landscapes of Energy

Conduit Urbanism: Regional Ecologies of Energy and Mobility examines the potential for bundled high speed mobility, communications infrastructure and freshwater resources tied to renewable energy sources within the Great Lakes Megaregion to engender new forms of urbanism, industry clusters, and symbiotic networks.

New Geographies presents the geographic as a design paradigm that links physical, representational, and political attributes of space in a synthetic scalar practice, and seeks, through critical essays and projects, to position design’s agency amidst concerns of infrastructure, ecology, and globalization. Volume 02 of New Geographies: Landscapes of Energy addresses the relations of space and energy across scales, technologies, and actors. The issue’s premise is to historicize the dialectical relation between energy and society and identify its material, political, and representational geographies. “What are the social, political, and spatial implications of the next mode of energy, and how can design practices partake in shaping a more just urbanization?” Energy infrastructures deploy space at a large scale, yet they remain invisible because the creation of value in the oil regime has long externalized spatial costs, sliding them out of sight and away from design’s agency. Contemporary environmental, political, and financial crises have brought energy once again to the forefront of design concerns. Rarely, however, do practices of sustainable design—efficient building skins, islands of self-sufficiency, positive-energy machines—address the spatiality of energy systems. Instead, they tend to emphasize a renewable/nonrenewable binary that associates environmental costs exclusively with the infrastructure of oil and overlooks the geographic imperative of all forms of energy. In rendering visible this infrastructure, Landscapes of Energy is a provocation to articulate design’s environmental agency and its possible scales of intervention.

Contributors to New Geographies 02 include: Ivan Illich, John May, Carola Hein, Gavin Bridge, Abdellatif Benachenhou, El Hadi Jazairy, Santiago del Hierro, Gary Leggett, Andrew Barry, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov, Martin Melosi, Maria Kaika, Geoff Manaugh, Pierre Bélanger, Kazys Varnelis, Robert Sumrell, Jean Robert, and Mirko Zardini.