Cities have never belonged only to humans, non-humans have always been city dwellers, too. Parks, cemeteries, wastelands, overgrown ruins, building sites, and the city’s multilayered architecture itself offer good living conditions for many species. Currently, the migration of animals to cities is increasing worldwide. One of the reasons is that the food supply in cities is often better than in rural areas dominated by the monocultures of the agricultural industry. At the same time, since the beginning of the modern era, urbanization has led to the massive consumption of natural resources and extensive land take, contributing significantly to climate change and the extinction of species. In the search for ways out of the ecological crisis, we need to confront the central yet ambivalent role of cities as spaces of cohabitation.
It is time to recognize non-human species as urban agents and to develop new approaches that integrate them into design practice and spatial production. In addition to urban questions, Cohabitation also addresses urgent political issues. The plundering of nature leads to global chains of exploitation and injustice among non-humans and humans alike. Rethinking human-non-human relations therefore also means taking class and gender relations as well as racism into account. Only then can we reimagine how to live together in solidarity in future urban societies.