Eco-communities in an urban future

Professor Jenny Pickerill

Funding period: 1 April 2019 – 1 January 2020
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: University of Sheffield, University of Birmingham, Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK)
Date: January 2019 onwards
Lead organiser: Prof. Jenny Pickerill (Department of Geography, University of Sheffield)
Team members: Prof. Peter Kraftl (School of Geography, University of Birmingham), Kirsten Stevens-Wood (Cardiff Metropolitan University) and Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill (School of Geography, University of Birmingham)
Contact: Prof. Jenny Pickerill

Abstract: We are exploring the possibilities and potential of eco-communities in an urban future. To do this we are running 3 workshops during 2018 and 2019 in Cardiff, Sheffield and Birmingham. Making our cities sustainable for an uncertain climatic future is a central focus of urban studies. Sustainable urbanism (also called eco-urbanism), experimental urbanism and postcolonial urbanism are all types of future urbanisms. Future urbanisms’ research, in different ways, examines what governance, infrastructures, materiality and social practices are required to radically transform urban spaces. There is also considerable research examining the processes of these transformations – the how of necessary social, political and economic change. Concurrently, but distinct from this research, is a growing body of work on eco-communities, intentional communities and utopian studies. Eco-communities research is also examining how people are generating new ways of living, often through self-building, self-provisioning, and self-constructing off-grid infrastructures. These workshops are exploring the overlaps between this work on future urbanisms and eco-communities, in order to understand what role eco-communities can have in an increasingly urban future.