Three seminar events will be held on:
1. Urban eco-communities
This first seminar places the concept of eco-communities, too often conceived of as rural, detached and ageographic, into urban space. By bringing in questions of social justice, participation and already-existing communities into dialogue with research on eco-communities the urban potential of intentional communities is more critically examined (Chitwere and Taylor, 2010). This seminar seeks to understand what eco-communities are already contributing to the urban, and how future urbanism approaches might reshape some eco-community aims and practices (Hadfield-Hill, 2012; Christensen et al. 2017).
This was held in Cardiff on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th July 2019.
2. Experimental urbanism
This second seminar is structured around the concept of experimental urbanism as a way to understand and explore how eco-communities can reshape urban spaces. Conceptualising eco-communities as experiments enables the valuing of small-scale and everyday practices, but can also limit the way they are understood as being only discrete interventions into city life, rather than facilitating more fundamental shifts in urban governance and urban living (Voytenko et al.,2016). This seminar seeks to frame eco-communities as broader contributors to debates in experimental urbanism (Martin et al.,2018).
This was held in Sheffield on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th October 2019.
3. Diversifying the future city
This final seminar examines the inclusions and exclusions of eco-communities in the broader context of diversifying urban futures. Drawing on postcolonial urbanism and research into who is included in visions of future eco-cities (Datta 2012; forthcoming; Kraftl et al.,2013; Christensen et al. 2017) the current exclusivity of many eco-communities will be re-examined and the possibility of adopting different strategies to broaden inclusion explored. This seminar focuses on opening up questions of who participates in eco-communities and, in relation, who is part of the future urbanisms.
This will be held in Birmingham on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th February 2020.
Each event will start with a 45 minute keynote from an expert in the seminar theme, followed by questions. Then in the afternoon of the first day, in order to generate discussion across currently distinct bodies of knowledge, three speakers will be invited from one of the other two strands of research.
The second day of each event will be participatory and discussion-based. It will begin using participatory methods to collectively identify areas that participants want to discuss further based on the previous day’s talks. The aim is to find points of debate, overlap and, hopefully, areas of potential knowledge exchange.