Would you sign up to have your postmortem body composted? That’s the question I posed to my Politics of Environmental Health students after reading this NYT piece on the Urban Death Project.

About a third of the class was open to it; a few were pretty grossed out. We discussed how, like most ambitious, radical projects, a good part of work needs to be done to shift cultural beliefs and attitudes about bodies and death.

Photo by Peter aka anemoneprojectors. Almonds Lane Cemetery, Stevenage, UK. April 27, 2011.
Photo by Peter aka anemoneprojectors. Almonds Lane Cemetery, Stevenage, UK. April 27, 2011.

I like the project’s innovativeness, multispecies and microbial engagements, as well as how it thinks through land use and sustainability. What to do with all the existing cemeteries? The materiality of memorial is a huge part of the hang up and sell here.

Thanks K.L. for sharing this article in our Politics of Environmental Health class!

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