#SUSPLACE2019: Reflections on the Final Event

From May 8 -10, 2019 the SUSPLACE Final Event was held in Tampere, Finland. The event addressed the theme of ‘Exploring Places and Practices through Transformative Methods’. To harvest knowledge and outcomes, we asked some participants to write a short blog post capturing their experiences. Find below the first blog, written by Rubén Vezzoni, Early Stage Research Fellow in MSCA ITN RECOMS.

New open access paper! Decentralising geographies of political action: civic tech and place-based municipalism by Omer Husain

Omer Husain is a research fellow at the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University. He was appointed at the MSCAction INT SUSPLACE research project Place-based policies and pathways from April 1, 2016, till March 31, 2019. Abstract This article introduces the concept of ‘place-based civic tech’ — citizen engagement technology codesigned by local government, civil society … Read more

Once Upon the Future: Everyday Adventures that Change the World

Can you produce a children’s book as part of an academic research project? Yes, you can! With great enthusiasm and dedication, a team of six SUSPLACE fellows (Anastasia, Alessandro, Angela, Kelli, Lorena and Marta) has been engaged in the writing of children’s stories inspired by their research projects. After more than a year of work, they are happy to announce that they are almost done! Preliminary title of the book: Once Upon the Future: Everyday Adventures that Change the World.

New open access paper! Regenerative city-regions: a new conceptual framework

The city-regional scale is increasingly being considered the most suitable level for planning and development, yet city-regions have often been established for purely economic reasons in the UK. This paper argues that city-regions are not mere socioeconomic units through which competitiveness can be achieved, but also rich, socioecological spaces. Although the progressive regionalist literature has taken significant steps in this direction, concerns remain that critical contemporary issues such as environmental sustainability, cultural viability, social exclusion or political (dis)empowerment have not been addressed in a holistic way. We attempt to advance the debate and overcome some of the shortcomings by connecting progressive regionalism with two other literature strands: collaborative governance and regenerative development. Based on the synergies found, we design a conceptual framework that can be used to study, understand and improve policy processes and practice, paving pathways towards regenerative city-regions.

Publication: Experiential approaches to sustainability education-towards learning landscapes

In the recent publication Malin Backman et al. critically reflect the current specialist discourse on experiential approaches to higher education for sustainable development (HESD). Limitations to the current discourse are identified, and as a result, an alternative, learning landscape approach to the study of experiential education (EE) within HESD is suggested. Malin Backman was appointed as a fellow at the SUSPLACE research project Connected Learning Spaces from April 2016 till June 2018.

Co-designing Sustainability Learning with University Students and Community Gardens

On an unseasonably warm February afternoon – warm enough to sit outside with no coat on and with a chorus of birds overhead – seven university students and ten community gardeners gathered in a tranquil community garden on the outskirts of Cardiff, Wales. They met for the 2nd Tyfu i Ddsygu (or Growing to Learn) workshop, with the aim to collectively developing a series of hands-on learning projects.

RE.TREAT Cornwall: How to live when sea levels rise?

A summer camp where families pretend to be climate refugees? An arts-based experiential learning experiment? A delightful and intellectually stimulating weekend in the highlands of Cornwall, full of laughter and joy?

In July 2018, seven families took part in an experimental 4-day ‘retreat’ in Cornwall, UK. The aim of this creative residency was to imagine and design how to live when sea levels rise. SUSPLACE fellow Kelli Rose Pearson and SUSPLACE project coordinator Anke de Vrieze attended RE.TREAT Cornwall as participant observers. The story starts with a full lunar eclipse, a neolithic cairn, and an unexpected storm. It ends with the Boatbarrow – an amphibious mobile art gallery.

Policy Event: Revitalising Agenskalns Market, Riga

How to re-develop a neighborhood market in a sustainable and creative way? In September 2018, Kalnciema Quarter invited the SUSPLACE consortium to think along and develop a set of practical ideas and policy proposal for the re-development of Agenskalns market, Riga. Together with local stakeholders and experts, the SUSPLACE team addressed 3 challenges: 1) How can stakeholders work together effectively? How to develop new forms of private-public partnerships and foster co-operation at the local and national level? 2)How to build an identity for Agenskalns market, promoting the reputation of a cultural and historic place? 3)What models of sustainable financing are available? Watch the embedded video for an impression and summary of the event.

Investigating togetherness in a more-than-human society: taking some SUSPLACE lessons to the University of Lapland

By Sara Grenni & Angela Moriggi This past November, for the first time since our arrival to Finland, we brought some SUSPLACE vibes to Lapland! It took a pleasant 12 hours night train ride to get to Rovaniemi, where the annual colloquium of the Finnish Society for Environmental Social Sciences (YHYS) took place from November … Read more

Publication: “Citizen Initiatives in the Post-Welfare State”

In the recently published article Citizen Initiatives in the Post-Welfare State , SUSPLACE researcher Diogo Soares da Silva  reflects on the role of citizen initiatives in shaping sustainable places. The article is based on the outcomes of the research project The Energetic Society and was co-authored by prof. Lummina Horlings and prof. Elisabete  Figueiredo. The article belongs to the Special Issue Civic Enterprises, the Co-Production of Public Governance and the Prospects for Democratic Renewal in Europe of Social Sciences.

Overcoming the fear of the page: the SUSPLACE Children Book’s learning journey continues.

Written by Angela Moriggi Editing and inspiration: Kelli Rose Pearson, Lorena Axinte, Alessandro Vasta, Anastasia Papangelou, Marta Nieto Romero. How can we convey the value of interdependence without falling into cheesiness? How do we advocate for re-appreciation of traditional textiles without being overly didactic? How can we talk about urban regeneration with a hint of … Read more