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Postmetropolis (new urban form) is a term dealing with dramatically restructured megacities that have emerged world wide. Toronto with almost 10 million people in the metropolitan area is of course an excellent example. As globalization is a compression of the world and intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole, global city-regions are focusing their attention on the “rights to the city” and the “history of the present”. A genuine connection with, and respect and space for, the cultural other, a recognition of intertwined fates. Megacities tend to concentrate the best and the worst—globally connected and locally disconnected, physically and socially.


Participant observation is a data collection method by scholars used in qualitative research. This method is employed in many disciplines, anthropology, sociology, communication studies, human geography, psychogeography and social psychology. The central question in visual anthropology is that we have to decide how to take a camera into the field, while dealing with such issues as the observer effect, and in addition, social distancing in our pandemic present.


Reflexivity journals are the next step referring to circular relationships between cause and effect, especially as embedded in human belief structures. We are prompted to think about how our ethnicity, race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, and other factors might influence research and enter the study with no misconceptions about bringing in subjectivities into the data collection process. As a process it involves intimately observing the environment and seeing what may have been previously unobserved.


This whole process is disturbed, but I also think intensified, by the global Covid19 pandemic. During this time I developed a plan to further develop the practise of observation specific to overgrown urban conglomerations. Many community based groups are already active, more or less radical, so using the current “stay at home order” and “everywhere active social media”, the time is now to start looking for the ways to provide better future for generations to come. I strive to provide “guidance/reminders” and get the younger generation interested.


What we need is noticing and pointing a finger to the extreme or just powerful instances of deterioration of the cities affected by climate change and contribution of Postmetropolis to the pollution and excessive energy consumption. As Marcel Proust states, “The real voyage of discovery consists of not seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

For us contemporary psychogeographers, the drift is purposeful; it can reveal the city’s underlying structure. The psychogeographer knows that the metropolis and even more POSTMETROPOLIS cannot be recorded, it can only be carefully observed and remade.


We are all in this together and we should all make our contribution. Take care of each other . Positive thinking is helpful, but this lesson of Covid Pandemic and how dependent, interconnected and fragile our world is should be remembered.

Visual Addition to Postmetropolis
Psychogeography, window to the urban future
This article was first published in #01 - Reslience 2:1 Newsletter in April, 2021

Revised in Toronto on May 5th, 2024

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  urban squares urbansquares copyright initiative is licensed under a creative commons attribution-share alike 2.5 canada license. May 20, 2024  
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