Green Is Hope, and Grass the Future

Lush greenery has never been neutral or apolitical. In Berlin, wild grass has often been perceived as embodying the beauty and freedom of nature in a kind of opposition to the technocratic state. In some eras, it has even served nativist and totalitarian ideologies.

In Berlin, greenery has never been neutral or apolitical. During the pandemic, posters of meadows appeared on billboards across the city, an illusion of verdant fertility amidst mandated lockdown.




  • Barbara Penner
  • Alan Thomas
  • Despina Stratigakos

Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is a professor of anthropology at The New School in New York City.

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Barbara Penner

Barbara Penner is a columnist for Places. She is Professor of Architectural Humanities at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas is a columnist for Places. He is Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer specializing in urban landscape.

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Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos is a columnist for Places and Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo.

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