1st Edition

The Atmospheric City

By Mikkel Bille, Siri Schwabe Copyright 2023
    152 Pages 27 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Atmospheric City explores how people make sense of the feelings they get in and of urban spaces. Based on ethnographic fieldwork of everyday life in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm, it focuses on the atmospheric power of people, places, and phenomena.

    While the predominant focus of current urban planning tends to rest on economic growth, sustainability, or offering housing, transport, and activities to an increasing number of city residents, this book offers a different take, based on recent discussions in the social sciences about how cities feel. It calls attention to the mundane ways in which urban dwellers adapt and adopt their surroundings. It argues that atmospheric cities are characterised by a fundamental porosity that affects how people relate to places. This highlights why some places are sought after while others are avoided. Through concrete examples of people being in and moving through the city, the book shows how people attune and are attuned by designed urban spaces, often at the margins of attention, when they find comfort in the familiar and seek out the unexpected.

    This book is aimed at researchers, postgraduates, and practitioners interested in urban design and how people make sense of the feelings it evokes. It will be of interest to those in the fields of urban studies, urban design, planning, architecture urban geography, cultural geography, cultural studies and anthropology.



    List of Figures

    1. Introduction
    2. Towards a porous way of thinking

      The life-oriented city

      Atmospheric spaces

      Attuning to atmospheres

      Exploring the atmospheric city

      Outline of the book

    3. Attuned relations: The sociality of atmospheres
    4. Chasing resonance

      Solitude in the atmospheric city

      Being alone together

      Dissonant encounters

      Quiet and loud: Crowds and atmospheres


    5. Embraced by the city: Feeling the urban environment
    6. Atmospheric design

      Feeling the atmospheres of urban design

      The affective qualities of things

      Environments of atmospheres past

      Weathering the atmospheric city


    7. Moving through atmospheres: Mobility and attunement
    8. Moved by design

      Perceiving through movement

      Moving in practice

      Moving among others


    9. Cities of care: Nurturing atmospheres
    10. Care in the atmospheric city

      Building care

      Atmospheres of care

      Zones of comfort

      Knowing the city, feeling for the city

      Caring for plurality


    11. The future of the atmospheric city



    Mikkel Bille is Professor of Ethnology at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen.

    Siri Schwabe is Assistant Professor at the Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University.