CFP: Critical Foodscapes: what does the future hold for urban gardening?

–A One Day Conference on July 7th 2016 at the University of Warwick, UK–
Confirmed Keynote: Dr Chiara Tornaghi (Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, UK)

Urban gardening has long promised radical alternatives to industrialised food production and the organisation of modern urban spaces. Yet despite recent increases in popularity and a conspicuous proliferation of its forms, urban gardening appears to have had minimal material influence on how we eat or how we live.

It is now time to ask what the future holds for urban gardening. What evidence is emerging of urban gardening’s social and environmental impacts? Can such forms really mitigate some of the major crises of our times – from mental illness and unemployment to the unsustainability of our food systems – or do they remain a fringe concern? And what changes – at the level of policy or grassroots mobilisation (or otherwise) – are required to maximise the impact and reach of future iterations of urban gardening?

This conference seeks to put critical – but constructive – pressure on some of the assumptions which underlie current theory and practice of urban gardening; as such, the conference organisers welcome papers encompassing a broad range of approaches and perspectives (whether research-, practitioner- or participant-orientated) considering the past, present and future of urban gardening. The conference will take the UK as its main focus but will accommodate international perspectives where possible. Papers might address, though not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Community gardens
  • Community supported agriculture
  • Urban and peri-urban food production
  • The cultural representation of urban gardens
  • Urban gardening and…

– local/national food policy
– grassroots activism
– food production
– mental health
– town planning
– education
– environmental sustainability
– economic sustainability
– emergency food aid

Please send 300 word abstracts and 100 word biographies to Dr C Maughan (IAS Early Career Fellow, University of Warwick) by Monday 11th April

Following the conference, speakers and delegates are encouraged to submit papers to a proposed special issue with the journal, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, subject to the peer-review process.

For more information, updates and to register see the conference website.
*For more information on Urban Gardening see recent article by Dr Maughan published by the American Anthropological Association

CFP: Young people and the ‘New Urban Agenda’: addressing key themes of Habitat III

University of Birmingham, 14th – 16th September 2016

This international two day conference will bring together academics working with children and youth to address key themes of Habitat III; a forum for debate, critical reflection and interdisciplinary discussion. Young people and the ‘New Urban Agenda’ at the University of Birmingham will set the research agenda for young lives in urban contexts.

On 17th – 20th October, 2016, in Quito, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development, Habitat III will take place setting plans in motion for ‘A New Urban Agenda’ for the 21st Century. Taking Habitat III’s key urban themes of i) mobility; ii) planning and design, iii) water and sanitation and iv) energy, the Young people and the ‘New Urban Agenda’ conference at the University of Birmingham will bring together researchers working in these fields, globally, to set the research agenda for young lives in urban contexts within the framework of Habitat III.

Key note speakers confirmed
Professor Louise Chawla, University of Colorado
Douglas Regan, Chief, Youth and Livelihood Unit, UN-Habitat

Call for papers
We invite papers which specifically address these four themes in relation to children and young people’s everyday lives. The papers will develop theory and showcase empirical evidence which will be used to prompt dialogue about young lives across contexts, communities and cultures to facilitate action and set the research direction in the age of ‘a new urban agenda.’

We invite papers which span global childhood experiences, addressing the themes of:

Theme 1: Mobility
– Children and young people’s everyday mobilities
– Children, young people and transport
– Children and young people as pedestrians
– Intergenerational and interdependent mobilities
– Children and young people affordable travel
– Children’s right to mobility

Theme 2: Planning and design
– Children’s experiences of public space
– Re-thinking public spaces with children and young people
– Inclusive cityscapes and city planning
– Absent planning: constraints and opportunities
– Participatory planning
– Children’s engagements with sustainable urban design
– Permanent and temporary, formal and informal urban spaces

Theme 3: Water and sanitation
– Young people and water
– Young people and sanitation
– Water, urban planning and sustainable drainage systems/Low Impact Development
– Water conservation and ecology
– Water management

Theme 4: Energy
– Young people and energy
– Young people and energy production
– Young people and energy consumption
– Energy solutions and young people’s perceptions and use
– Housing, energy and young people
– Cooking, energy and young people
– Young people and food
– Intergenerational perspectives of energy

Submit abstracts at:

Other points to note:
i) Whilst there are four themes to this conference we appreciate that research will address cross-cutting issues, we are open to papers which address young people’s lives in the context of a nexus approach

ii) There is also space within the conference for a reflection on the aims and priorities of Habitat III, we encourage critical thinking in terms of the Urban Agenda for young people’s lives.

There is an optional third day of the conference dedicated to methodological approaches, providing a space for critical methodological discussion. There will be two workshop streams, one on participatory methodologies and the other on the use of technologies in social science research. We are asking for short 10 minute papers to address the two workshop streams:

1) Methodology workshop: Using participatory methodologies with children and young people (part funded by the ESRC Sharing Futures research project)

2) Methodology workshop: Use of technologies and apps in social science research with children and young people (part funded by the ESRC Map my Community research project)

This event is being organised by the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and part-funded across numerous research projects: New Urbanisms in India (ESRC); Sharing Futures (ESRC/Newton); (Re) Connect the Nexus (ESRC/FAPESP/Newton) and Map my Community (ESRC). This brings together shared visions and research agendas in thinking about young people in the ‘New Urban Agenda.’

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