Placements 2017 - Stephen McConnachie

Social and Cultural Values of Urban Nature in Walworth, South London.

In this placement, anthropologist Dr Stephen McConnachie will work with Social Life, a social research agency that works on the relationship between people and places. Specifically, he will contribute to an ongoing project in Walworth, south London that seeks to understand the ‘feeling’, or the social and cultural value, of urban spaces and how to integrate this intangible knowledge into urban regeneration frameworks. Through participatory and storytelling methods with local people, he will explore the social and cultural meanings of urban nature and different ways in which they are valued. In addition to local parks and gardens, this includes working with smaller instances of urban nature such as street trees.
The placement will develop skills in applied participatory methods, storytelling for research, and community engagement, as well as contributions to policy and planning documents on urban regeneration in London. Social Life are also keen to learn from his academic ethnographic experience, enabling a knowledge and skills share. The placement will have two main outputs: a toolkit for using participatory research on socio-cultural values of urban nature for use by other community groups and practitioners, and a collaborative contribution exploring community values of urban nature for the 2017 Unusual Suspects Festival.

Introduction to placement - presentation

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