Joëlle Salomon Cavin
Senior lecturer

University of Lausanne
Institute of geography and sustainability
Mouline - Géopolis 3506
CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone +41 21 692 3561

How nature shapes the city?

From the perspective of an urban environmental geography, the main question guiding my research work can be summed up as: "How nature shapes the city?". I'm interested in the mechanisms, values, imaginaries and knowledge that guide nature-related practices and influence the making of the contemporary urban factory.
In my work, nature is approached in all sorts of dimensions and spaces (animal and plant species, the countryside, cultivated areas, protected areas, etc.) and through different practices (gardening, agriculture, protection/conservation, urban planning, scientific research, pest control).
In the course of my career, the study of the city/nature couple has led me to explore five main research areas, mainly in the Swiss, French and English contexts: the anti-urban imaginary; urban agriculture; city and natural sciences and, more recently, unwanted animal in the city.

After studying Geography and Urban Planning in Paris, I completed a Phd at the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) on the subject of hostility towards the city and its consequences for spatial planning in Switzerland. During this period, I also worked as a planner in the Spatial Planning Department of the canton of Neuchâtel. I then spent two years in the UK as part of a post-doc project with Cardiff University. I have taught urban geography and planning at the universities of Fribourg, Geneva, Neuchâtel and Lausanne, where I was appointed MER in 2014.