Four Commons: methodologies for engagement.

On Tuesday 9th July Alex Zambelli will be holding a symposium/workshop at Grand Parade campus called: Four Commons: methodologies for engagement. It is part of a broader research project called Wastes and Strays: the past present and future of English urban commons. All are welcome.

It will be of particular relevance to you if you are interested in issues of urban ecology and sustainability and methods of public engagement and participation.
Or if you are interested in the ribbon of green (and not so green) spaces which constitute Valley Gardens in Brighton. For participants who came to the Tangible and Intangible Commons symposium a couple of years ago this is a chance to see how things have developed.

Prior booking is not essential but it will help enormously if you register here:

To give some context this is, broadly, what the main Wastes and Strays project is about:
Between 2019 and 2021 researchers from several UK universities and a range of non-academic partners will be involved in a 3-year AHRC-funded project researching English urban commons. Wastes and Strays: the past present and future of English urban commons will explore types of land with unique histories, legal structures and agency in the life of their urban contexts. It will examine in depth the distinctive legal and political origins and cultural capital embodied in the ‘urban common’, and articulate critical ideas for its future.
With many urban commons lost, neglected or underused, the project will use four diverse case studies as exemplars of the distinctively ‘urban’ common. The project will investigate and promote the urban common’s unique status, history of negotiation, resistance and freedom, and multiple benefits as open ‘green’ space for physical and mental well being.
It is an interdisciplinary project combining expertise from across the humanities – law, archaeology, history, English, architecture, creative practice – with existing and new community and cultural partners. Combining rigorous historical and theoretical research with new public engagement modes, it will inform and enable communities to revitalise their commons, demonstrating the active value of research and knowledge exchange.
Yet the term ‘common land’ contains within it its own antagonisms and opposites, tensions to do with the land itself against its embodied hierarchies, the legal construction of urban space against the design of that space, procurement versus gift, the tangible and the intangible.

Event details

Wastes and Strays: the past present and future of English urban commons a 3-year AHRC-funded research project, bringing together representatives, stakeholders and users of urban commons with experts in open space management and methods of public engagement.

 The University of Brighton School of Architecture and Design with the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics

Tuesday 9th July 2019, Room 318b, Grand Parade, Brighton, BN2 0JY.

12.00 Opens [Lunch for invitees]

12.30 Introductions

Alessandro Zambelli (for host institution and as ‘Future’ Co-Investigator)

Chris Rodgers (Project Introduction from the Principal Investigator)

12.45 Common Conversations (reps from each common in conversation)

  • Town Moor and Mousehold Heath (30mins)

(with Chris Rodgers and Rachel Hammersley)

  • Valley Gardens and Clifton Down (30mins)

(with John Wedgwood Clarke and Alessandro Zambelli)

2.00 Common Talk (chair Emma Cheatle)

  • All ‘commons’ representatives (30mins)

2.45 Talking Engagement (chair Alessandro Zambelli)

  • Nicola Hodgson (Open Spaces Society) (20mins)
  • Duncan MacKay (Natural England) (20mins)
  • Nick Gant (Community 21) (20mins)

4.00 Making Engagement (Parallel workshops with coffee/tea)

  • Group 1 (45mins)
  • Group 2 (45mins)
  • Group 3 (45mins)

4.45 Re-talking Engagement

Report back: ‘common methods’ (co-chaired by all Wastes and Strays Investigators and Post-docs)

5.30 Close

For more information contact Alessandro Zambelli,  a.zambelli@brighton