New collaborative interdisciplinary project on understanding place, identity and attachment to urban green spaces and places

Enviros is part of a new interdisciplinary project that has recently been awarded R2.8 million by the national Research Foundation to examine urban dwellers’ needs and aspirations with respect to green spaces and biodiversity. The project is a collaboration between the Departments of Anthropology (Dr Michelle Cocks) and of Environmental Science (Prof Charlie Shackleton) and the Faculty of Law (Dr Gustav Muller), all at Rhodes University. The project will be three years in duration and will involve several Masters and Honours students, each of who will have supervisors from at least two of the three disciplines involved. The project will delve into what underpins urban residents’ sense of place, attachment and use of home and community spaces, especially in relation to biodiversity and green infrastructure elements. It will grapple with questions relating to what are adequate housing and urban spaces over and above simply the provision of shelter and basic services. The project model is built around close collaboration with municipal officials and civil society in the study towns.