SITUATED ECOLOGIES is a platform for research projects and activities that relate to situated and contested ecologies, in particular when viewed through the processes of urbanisation.
Urbanisation is rapid, uneven and multi-folded. Here we focus on how people and their identities, social and political processes, are mixed up with material ecologies such as wetlands, sand dunes, parks and gardens, but also with infrastructural systems of sanitation, water and electricity. The research straddles the lines of geography, ecology, sociology and history and strives to answer and provoke debates about questions of sustainability and equality, including questions about identity, power and biophysical agency.
Apart from research, we give courses and organise workshops for academics, students and civil society, trying to share our learning in various ways.
Two research projects
Two research projects drives the main bulk of our research:
- Ways of Knowing Urban Ecologies (WOK-UE) based mainly on human and critical geography, STS, and environmental history;
- Socioecological Movements in Urban Ecosystems (MOVE) based mainly on urban ecology, sociology and environmental history.
These projects have created several activities that can be followed on this website. The activities include case studies in Cape Town, New Orleans and Stockholm where individual researchers have developed case studies into urban issues of food security, civic-led wetland/fynbos rehabilitation, and co-management of nature reserve in post-apatheid geographies, alongside studies of port capital, civic struggle and coastal ecosystems. Subprojects also include an edited international book project called Grounding Urban Natures, and the Cape Town Civic Network Study’ (CT-CIVNET) on collective action and environmental justice.
The SUPE Collective
The website also hosts the connected website of the SUPE Collective, or the Situated Urban Political Ecologies Collective. This initiative departs from the need to develop more political readings and analyses of the emergent cities of the Global South. At the same time, critical theory developed in and for cities of the Global North needs to be expanded in order to formulate more nuanced standpoints. The SUPE website was initiated as a response to find others interested in developing a situated Urban Political Ecology that can widen the range of urban experiences that can inform critical urban theory on how urban environments are shaped, politicized and contested.
Any researcher can join and contribute to the SUPE web space, find collaborative partners to organise workshops, inform about their research projects courses and similar events, and post comments and reports. Current participating researchers in the SUPE Collective are from universities in different countries across the Global South and North. Read more about The SUPE Collective here.
The research projects are funded by two grants from The Swedish Research Council Formas (Dnr: 250-2010-1372 WOK-UE; and Dnr: 211-2011-1519; MOVE). Further support has been received from Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation and an exchange grant from STINT, The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education.
We also enjoy support from the academic institutions that provide us with institutional homes. Core institutions that provide administrative support for research projects are: The African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, South Africa; The KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden; alongside Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden; and Tulane University, New Orleans, USA.
The Department of Geography, MacQuire University, Sydney, Australia provide an institutional home and co-supervision of one PhD student. Participating researchers are also from Department of Sociology at Trento University in Italy, and SESYNC at University of Maryland, USA, and based at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Sweden; Department of History, Stanford University, USA; University of Pretoria; and the Department of Geography, Durham University, UK.