Habitat Warsaw #1: Mammalproof

People and animals in the city – a public conversation about urban planning and human-animal relations.

Should the city protect people from animals, and the zoo – animals from people? What effectively creates barriers between species? What can be done to make Warsaw the best possible habitat? Should the change start with a reflection on the way space functions, or the relationships between people and animals? These and other questions led us to arranging a meeting between the ornithologist – the director of the Warsaw Zoo – and architects. The topic of the discussion will be comparing two animal environments: Warsaw as an animal habitat and the City Zoological Garden in Warsaw, and the relationship between the two. How can we design a city that would favour biodiversity and accommodate the perspective of animals?

As part of the artistic and research project Habitat Warsaw, we are planning a series of public debates about relationships between animals and people in the city. Mammalproof is an attempt to look at urban planning from the perspective of human-animal relations.

Humans are the only large mammals who do not live permanently in the zoo but can enter it. This distinctiveness is an impulse to ask questions about the relationship between the welfare of humans and other animals, as well as the classifications we make. These discussions are aimed at showing the mechanisms of interspecies relationships and their quandaries.

Habitat Warsaw is a long-term, speculative project dedicated to the city of the future understood as an ecosystem inhabited by both human and non-human species.  The meeting is the first in a series of talks between architects from the CENTRALA group (Małgorzata Kuciewicz, Simone De Iacobis), landscape architect Natalia Budnik, and specialists in animal welfare, learning about the mechanisms of adaptation and evolution of animals in the urban environment. The developed map of important issues will be used for further design and artistic work, as well as work on public policies regarding the presence of animals in Warsaw.


  • Curators
    • Anna Czaban
    • Anna Ptak
  • Participants
    • dr Andrzej Kruszewicz, director of the Municipal Zoological Garden in Warsaw
    • Małgorzata Kuciewicz and Simone De Iacobis from the CENTRALA project group
    • Natalia Budnik, landscape architect
  • Organizers

    • Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in cooperation with the Municipal Zoological Garden in Warsaw

  • Venue
    • the former bear enclosure at the Warsaw ZOO, Aleja Solidarności
  • Language
    • Polish
  • If you are willing to participate in the event, please send your application to info@u-jazdowski.pl.