# How does livelihood affect people's perception of deforestation?
23rd March, 2017
A new paper by Cambridge researchers Dr Mike Bithell, Prof Keith Richards and Dr Gareth Rees with Dr Ronald Twongyirwe (Mbarara University of Science) explores the connections between people's class and social group and their perceptions of deforestation, looking specifically at forested and non-forested landscapes in Western Uganda. They found that poor households are more likely to live near forested regions, and that the rural poor are more reliant on forest products than peri-urban populations. Moreover, they found that people in different social classes and age groups can have very different views on what the change in forest cover might be despite what the remote sensing data show. This might have policy implications if decision makers tend to come from the groups that are not likely to have perceived forest cover change, or base their judgement on views from certain social classes. This implies that it is important to have the remote sensing data available as a counter balance to local perception (and vice versa).
# Occupy and the dilemmas of social movements
21st March, 2017
Department Leverhulme fellow Sam Halvorsen explores the challenging spatial aspects of social movements in a new blog and article. The texts highlight the dilemmas and contradictions that can arise for movement leaders when mobilising particular spatial strategies and the importance of geography in understanding social movements.
# Muddy Fun at the Science Festival 2017!
20th March, 2017
On Saturday 18 March, the Department was 'awash' with hands on activities exploring coastlines, flooding and mud as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. Visitors viewed pollen and coastal creepy crawlies under the microscope, got hands on with our shifting sands light box, survived a flood in our emergency scenario game and watched our flume simulator destroy the poor sea defenses of a village of lego people. Thanks to everyone who came along!
# Changing Court Spaces: Policy, Architecture and Experience
17th March, 2017
On 15th October 2015 Natalie Ceeney, CEO of HM Courts & Tribunals Service, stated that the 'physical paradigm' of courts in the UK had to change. As a £700m programme of regeneration is now underway, a research project headed by Department Reader Dr Alex Jeffrey sought to understand how best this change can be enacted by working with the range of different individuals who experience the court environment.
# Measures of poverty and well-being still ignore the environment
16th March, 2017
Without nature, humans could be neither healthy nor happy. And yet the natural world can be completely ransacked without causing even a tiny blip on our usual measures of economic progress or poverty. In a new article on The Conversation, Department reader Dr Bhaskar Vira and Research Associate Dr Judith Schleicher argue that measures of societal progress need to expand to explicitly include what nature does for human well-being and prosperity, especially for those in poverty.
# The Great Austerity Debate: New Documentary
15th March, 2017
A new documentary on 'The Great Austerity Debate' forum theatre project run by Dr Mia Gray and Professor Susan Smith in collaboration with Menagerie Theatre Company is now online on the University's Youtube Channel. The project, which toured for the first time in Autumn 2016, explored Smith and Gray's work on the impacts of austerity through the genre of forum theatre: in which audience members intervene in the action on stage to explore the different effects of austerity policy.
# Volcanology and the ERC
14th March, 2017
# New film on coastal research
13th March, 2017
In a new film on the University's Youtube Channel, University Lecturer Dr Iris Möller explains how an understanding of natural processes and landforms can help us develop win-win solutions for reducing flood risk.
# How does geography affect participatory governance?
10th March, 2017
In a new article published in the International Development and Planning Review University Lecturer Charlotte Lemanski explores the phenomenon of participatory governance and urban structures within Cape Town. Participatory governance has become a mainstream feature of city management, endorsed by governments and aid agencies as a platform for state-civil society engagement. However, it is often criticised for problems with implementation and fundamental imbalances of power. Lemanski introduces into these debates the role played by the urban spatial and temporal structural context in shaping citizenship experiences of participatory processes. Based on fieldwork in a electoral ward of Cape Town, a geopolitical space with a wide socio-economic range of citizens, the paper demonstrates how the spatial and temporal landscape of the city is not a neutral technical backdrop for participatory processes, but is active in creating and perpetuating inequalities that are institutionalised through processes of participatory governance.
- Lemanski, C., 2017. Unequal citizenship in unequal cities: participatory urban governance in contemporary South Africa. International Development Planning Review, v. 39, p.15-35. doi:10.3828/idpr.2017.2.
# Protest Camps in International Perspective
8th March, 2017
A newly-published book on protest camps with Policy Press features a chapter by Leverhulme Research Fellow Sam Halvorsen. Responding to the appearance of protest camps in hundreds of cities worldwide in 2011, the book engages with a broad range of geographical and historical examples of protest camps. Dr Halvorsen's publication explores dilemmas over the end of the protest camp in Occupy London (2011-2012), part of his previous research project on the territoriality of the Occupy movement.
Halvorsen, S., 2017. 'Losing Space in Occupy London: Territorial Forms and the Fetishisation of the Protest Camp', in Brown, G., Feigenbaum, A., Frenzel, F. and McCurdy, P. (eds) 2017. Protest Camps in International Perspective: Spaces, infrastructures and medias of resistance. Bristol: Policy Press, 161-176