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Title: Shoots and leaves : exploring the impacts of civil society sustainable place-making projects working in deprived urban areas in the UK
Author: Ramsden, Samuel William
ISNI:       0000 0004 8504 2436
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2018
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Sustainable place-making is a concept combining 'place-making' and 'sustainable development' to describe community-focused activities working towards environmental, social and economic aims (Franklin and Marsden 2015). This research critically analyses approaches to sustainable place-making in deprived urban UK communities by focusing on a 3-year £1m civil society-led project in Hull, which implemented urban agriculture, local environmental and community energy activities. The research focused on interviewing staff and participants during and after the project, supported by quantitative data analysis. The project successfully engaged marginalised people in deprived communities, who strongly voiced outcomes including improved mental health, resilience to food and fuel poverty and improved self-reliance. Accessing, protecting, improving and enjoying the local environment (including involving children and improving biodiversity) emerged as an important factor in realising these outcomes and participants also valued connections to tackling climate change. In addition, involvement in a positive project enabled participants to give-back to their communities through volunteering in place-making activities. These are important outcomes in this period of cuts to public services and expenditure and their impacts on marginalised people. However, a range of internal and external project governance issues impacted on the effectiveness and long term sustainability of activities. Long-term sustainability, relating to continuation of activities to embed benefits over time, is a critical and unexplored issue. There was no continuation funding and some activities ceased. Some urban agriculture activities were continued by staff and volunteers, but these were fragile without support. The Local Authority provided ad-hoc support but in the absence of a clear strategy and there was no support from Central Government. The research reinforces sustainable place-making as an important emerging framework. The research showed that it is essential to support civil society as leaders of sustainable place-making, through increasing recognition, strategic support, and reflexive funding. This will require a shift from a neoliberal focus on economic priorities to a focus on achieving social and environmental outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography