The People, Nature, Place (PNP) research program focuses on urban human-nature relationships, how these are understood, and their impacts on people and sustainability. In particular it seeks to develop, sustain and promote impactful research on the complexities of achieving the tri-fold goals of sustainability, nature protection and human flourishing in cities. This interest encapsulates urban greening, placemaking, edible cities, and other enhancements. PNP takes a broad definition of what nature(s) and associated representations encompass, including plants, animals, ecosystems, air, soil, water and fire. PNP will seek to strengthen the research capacity for exploring these topics from an environmentally-engaged social science perspective.

As greening and placemaking activity multiplies globally, and is supported through initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals and nature-based solutions, the PNP program creates a dedicated hub on urban human-nature relations. As well as an emphasis on relations, PNP will draw on theories and approaches of placemaking, and incorporate innovative mapping and spatial technologies to understand and document human-nonhuman interactions over space and time. Through a focus on the diversity of ‘non-humans’ like animals and plants that are enrolled in the making and planning of cities and the human-environmental relations that produce urban places, PNP brings together multiple disciplines interested in these topics, including planning, urban design, geography, the humanities, environmental studies, and ecology.

Aims:

  • Connect PNP with a growing national and international research agenda on human-environmental relations in a range of disciplines including planning, geography and environmental studies
  • Develop theoretically informed yet empirically grounded applied research, with a key objective to translate new theoretical insights on changing urban human-nature relations into practical solutions, and think through the governance and policy implications for urban and urbanising environments
  • Provide an opportunity to connect current and emerging activity into a coherent form that would enable interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation, mutually beneficial sharing and growing of resources and knowledge across research, community, industry and government
  • Bring both people and nature into shared focus through use of a range of methods and approaches, including: critical social science, urban political ecology, environmental justice, equity and mapping/digital technologies

Projects

Tarnagulla Community Resilience Action Plan

2018–2020

This project aims to develop a Resilience Action Plan with and for the Tarnagulla community.

Network of Integrated Study Sites

2018 (ongoing)

This project aims to establish a network of integrated urban greening study sites to understand, quantify and qualify the multiple benefits of urban greening, including for biodiversity outcomes and for human health and wellbeing.

Key People

Lead researchers

Associate Professor Cecily Maller

Associate Professor Cecily Maller

Convener of People, Nature, Place Program

Dr Benjamin Cooke

Dr Benjamin Cooke

Convener of People, Nature, Place Program

Program Researchers

Higher Degree Research Students

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