To read this content please select one of the options below:

Urbanization as taxidermy: “Man”hattanization of Mannahatta

Hossein Sadri (Architecture, Coventry University, Coventry, UK) (Girne American University, Girne, Turkey)


ISSN: 2631-6862

Article publication date: 21 October 2020

Issue publication date: 23 June 2021




This article unveils the similarities of today's space production systems with taxidermy. Giving examples from the transformation of natural environment during the history of Mannahatta (Manhattan), the article discusses the process of metamorphosis of habitats and ecosystems to anthropocentric artificial objects.


Referencing Lefebvre, urbanization is conceptualized as the production of abstract space that ultimately stifles life; by analogy, space taxidermy.


Using the analogy of taxidermy and abstract space production processes, the article introduces the necessity and the principles of restoring natural habitats.


Re-writing the urban and architectural history of Manhattan by focusing on four different scenes from its life-span, the article introduces a novel; a new narrative of the history of the city from the perspective of human-nature relations and the various ways habitats were shaped on this island during history.



The author would like to express his special thanks of gratitude to Karina Adil for her thoughtful editing of this paper. During this research, resources of the libraries of the City College of New York, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Museum of the City of New York, the New York State Museum and the American Museum of Natural History have been used.


Sadri, H. (2021), "Urbanization as taxidermy: “Man”hattanization of Mannahatta", Archnet-IJAR, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 434-446.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles