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Multiculture and public parks: researching super-diversity and attachment in public green space

Neal, Sarah; Bennett, Katy; Jones, Hannah; Cochrane, Allan and Mohan, Giles (2015). Multiculture and public parks: researching super-diversity and attachment in public green space. Population, Space and Place, 21(5) pp. 463–475.

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Situating itself in encounter and public space debates and borrowing from nonrepresentational theory approaches, this paper uses data from the authors’ 2-year Economic and Social Research Council research project to consider how local urban parks can work as sites of routine encounter, mixity, and place belonging. The paper explores how parks as green public spaces are not only important as sites of inclusive openness but that the materiality of parks is a key dynamic in affective encounter processes. Parks can work as animators of social interactions, participatory practices, and place affinities across ethnic and cultural difference. The paper concludes that the concept of convivial encounter can be extended to incorporate the concept of elective practices – choosing to be in shared public space can generate connective sensibilities that are not necessarily contingent on exchange. In using parks as a lens to examine localities and diversity, the paper critically reflects on research practices for understanding and describing heterogeneous formations of multiculture and argues that the project’s research design and the fieldwork methods present an attempt to carefully and appropriately respond to research with complexly different places and populations.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN: 1544-8444
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Living Multiculture: the new geographies of ethnicity and the new formations of multiculture in EnglandES/J007676/1ESRC
Keywords: multiculture; encounter; diversity; public space; public parks; materiality; research practices
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Item ID: 43339
Depositing User: Allan Cochrane
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2015 12:40
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 09:53
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