Friday, July 24, 2015

"scent-scapes" and smellwalks

Mapping the politics of urban smells:  

I've been thinking a lot about what Barcelona--a high-density odor-intense city--smells like. Of course the smells change with the season. In the summer the smells are more potent and shop doors are open, their AC and perfumed atmospheres pouring out into the streets.

cigarette smoke,
car/moto exhaust,
dried dog urine,
garbage from the contenedores,
cleaning liquids,
dry pine-earth smell from platanero trees,
perfume from clothing shops,
humid mold from the sewers.
in Madrid I smell more fried calamares and jamón.

Trees, parks, and green spaces are not as common in Mediterranean cities as they are in N. European cities. More trees are needed to purify and maintain oxygen in the air. (This summer 2015 several news articles have been published on the rising pollution in Spanish cities. I.e.:

Artist Kate Mclean has been mapping sensorial elements in cities (olfactory, tactile...). Check out:

From Mclean's work, I arrived at Marta Calvo's smellwalks in Pamplona.

And several detailed maps by Cambridge University:


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