Multispecies Cohabitation

This note is about the concept of multispecies cohabitation, or the way of 'living together'.


  • human-wildlife conflict
  • human-wildlife coexistence
  • interspecies culture
  • Urban Ecology
  • One Design
  • cultural animal geographies
  • animal turn in geography
  • multi-species social practices
  • lively biogeographies
  • multinatural communities
  • convivial conservation
  • universal commons 1

The notion of cohabitation is a form of resistance to anthropocentric management of the 'wild' nature through spatial separation, restraint, and ascription of fixed categories such as wild, domestic, feral, invasive, pest, etc.

All lifeforms and abiotic elements relate to each other dynamically. "The concept of nature is thus inherently political. In reality, human beings do not dwell on the other side of a boundary between society and nature but in the same world that is inhabited by creatures of all kinds, human and non-human." 2

The objective is to live together with mutual benefit where possible, with minimal harm and risk, as much as possible, and with justice and dignity, giving rights or another form of political power all stakeholders.

This requires mutual adjustment and mutual learning.

The understanding of cohabitation requires integration of multiple knowledges and epistemologies, it cannot be only scientific or only human.

Needs and Open Questions

  • new knowledge on living in close proximity
  • new knowledge on meaning, mind, perception, behaviour, culture
  • how to assess the impact and trends?
  • implications for the future, imagination, innovation and design 3, Interspecies Design, Multispecies Design


Boonman-Berson, Susan. ‘Rethinking Wildlife Management’. PhD Thesis, Wageningen University, 2018.

Buller, Henry. ‘Animal Geographies I’. Progress in Human Geography 38, no. 2 (2014): 308–18.

Delahaye, Pauline. ‘A Methodology for the Study of Interspecific Cohabitation Issues in the City’. Biosemiotics 16, no. 1 (2023): 143–52.

Emel, Jody, Chris Wilbert, and Jennifer R. Wolch. ‘Animal Geographies’. Society & Animals 10, no. 4 (2002): 407–12.

Hinchliffe, Steve, Matthew B. Kearnes, Monica Degen, and Sarah Whatmore. ‘Urban Wild Things: A Cosmopolitical Experiment’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 23, no. 5 (2005): 643–58.

Knight, John, ed. Natural Enemies: People-Wildlife Conflicts in Anthropological Perspective. London: Routledge, 2000.

Lawson, Laté Ayao, and Phu Nguyen-Van. ‘Is There a Peaceful Cohabitation Between Human and Natural Habitats? Assessing Global Patterns of Species Loss’. Global Ecology and Conservation 23 (2020): e01043.

Lorimer, Hayden. ‘Herding Memories of Humans and Animals’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24, no. 4 (2006): 497–518.


  1. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten. ‘The Universal Commons: An Economic Theory of Ecosystem Ownership’. Ecological Economics 208 (2023): 107822.˄

  2. Ingold, Tim. ‘Epilogue: Towards a Politics of Dwelling’. Conservation and Society 3, no. 2 (2005): 501–8.˄

  3. Roudavski, Stanislav. ‘Multispecies Cohabitation and Future Design’. In Proceedings of Design Research Society (DRS) 2020 International Conference: Synergy, edited by Stella Boess, Ming Cheung, and Rebecca Cain, 731–50. London: Design Research Society, 2020.˄