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Introducing The City Unfinished, a Podcast Experiment

by Carolina Maurity Frossard

Brought to you by an enthusiastic group of podcasting newbies, The City Unfinished is a podcast experiment that brings together urban researchers and residents around the political practices, tensions and challenges shaping our cities today.

Its point of departure is the urban as a process; one that is continuously sharpening and shifting the tools and approaches we use to make sense of it. In this podcast, we explore some of the less travelled analytical routes into this process through informal interviews and open discussions, in which no-one has the figurative last word. 

We kick-off with a three-episode season focused on the embodied dimension of urban politics in Amsterdam, the city where we are based. Episode one is a conversation about peeing in the city with Science and Technology Studies researcher Justine Laurent (UvA). As you’ll hear, peeing is political and not all bodies are offered the same conditions for this basic – and often urgent – human need. Episode two is all about Amsterdam sounds and soundscapes, according to urban sociologist Edda Bild. Is Amsterdam a loud city? Also, what does it mean to be a loud city? Is it all about the decibels, or are other factors also shaping whether or not an urban sound is heard as a pleasure or a nuisance? In episode three, we talk about smell with Caro Verbeek (Vrij Universiteit), art historian and curator specialized in olfactory and tactile art. Historically, how have smells affected ordering and othering practices within Amsterdam? How are these dynamics still relevant today? We end each episode with an unfinished discussion on its central themes. Think of it as a conversation starter – a conversation we invite you all to join and engage. 

Cover by Andrés Novo

Even though I applied as an individual to the Centre for Urban Studies Seed Grant that made this podcast possible, I quickly realized it would take a village (not the most urban of analogies, I know, but bear with me). Thanks to shared research interests and enthusiasm, urban studies researchers Elisa Fiore (Radboud University Nijmegen), Anastasiya Halauniova (UvA), and Sarita Jarmack (UvA) joined me in this project as fellow thinkers, talkers and doers. Our sound editor and saviour was musician Luca Di Maio. The bright yellow cover you see above was designed by Andrés Novo.  

Season one of The City Unfinished is now available on iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud.