Ever greener cities: The spread of urban agriculture and urban greening (WILSON_UENV17EE)

University of East Anglia - School of Environmental Sciences

Start Date:  October 2017

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Dr Charlie Wilson

Project description:  
Urban agriculture and urban greening are innovative ways of integrating city dwellers with ecosystem services.

Urban agriculture means growing and distributing food locally in cities (e.g. the UK's City Farm network). Urban greening means landscaping and forestry projects in cities to build relationships between city dwellers and nature (e.g. New York's High Line).

This project will investigate the diffusion of urban agriculture and urban greening through cities, and the impact this has on urban ecosystem services. Relevant ecosystem services include recreation, air quality, and moderation of temperature extremes.

Aims & Research Questions
Diffusion is the process by which innovations spread. Diffusion has important spatial characteristics. The aim of this project is to analyse the spatial diffusion of urban agriculture and urban greening:

Where did these innovations begin? How fast have they spread? How can this be measured? Is their diffusion dependent on planning rules, local policy, community mobilisation, political leadership, or something else? What impacts has their diffusion had on ecosystem services in cities?

Activities
Specific research activities include:

  1. compiling time series and geospatial data on the spread of urban agriculture and urban greening
  2. mapping spatial diffusion and identifying spatial contagion effects
  3. analysing socioeconomic, community and policy variables explaining diffusion
  4. analysing impacts of spatial diffusion on urban ecosystem services

The adopters of innovations such as urban agriculture and urban greening are cities and their constituent administrative bodies and communities. Cities are therefore the units of analysis. However, there is considerable scope for the successful applicant to choose where to collect and analyse data (e.g., UK, EU, global). 

Training
The successful applicant will be a core part of a larger project team working on disruptive low carbon innovations. They will be integrated into the Tyndall Centre (www.tyndall.ac.uk), a world-leading inter-disciplinary research institute on the causes, impacts and responses to climate change. They will also have available comprehensive skills and employment training through the EnvEast doctoral training programme.

Person specification: Applicants should have an interest and capabilities in spatial analysis and/or environmental innovations.

Funding notes: This project has been shortlisted for funding by the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, comprising the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, with twenty other research partners.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on 14/15 February 2017.

Successful candidates who meet RCUK’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a full award. In 2016/17, the stipend was £14,296.

For further information, please visit www.enveast.ac.uk/apply

Share this PhD
     
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England