Working Title: Roofscapes: Greenroofs, Sustainability and Governance
Primary Supervisor: Dr Victor Buchli Secondary Supervisor: Professor Yvonne Rydin (Bartlett School of Planning)
Start date: January 2010 Expected Completion date: Late spring 2013
Working Title: Roofscapes: Housing, Governance and The Materialisation of Sustainability
Start date: January 2010
Expected Completion date: January 2013
Following a year of research with the sustainability and housing team inside one borough council office and within wider networks in London, I am examining how ideas about sustainability becomes materialised. In particular, my focus is on how the roof is emerging as a site for the design and positioning of technological 'fixes' for the adaptation to changing climate conditions.
While I followed several projects this sustainability team were working on (including a solar PV project), I am specifically writing my thesis on the introduction and adoption of greenroofs as an architectural, biological and building form.
How and why has sedum, the small, slow and low growing plant used on extensive greenroofs, become so central to so many different departments of governance within London? What does this tell us about future governance of the built environment within the city and its relationship with and to Nature? How is Nature being symbolized, commercialised, packaged and sold for ecosystems services?
The answers to these questions centre round the material benefits of greenroofs which allow them to reorder social, economic and political relationships in the management of London's urban environment by acting as boundary objects. This allows them to cross geographical and organisational boundaries of concern over changing climates to become mainstream within the contemporary systems of neoliberal sustainability. Their construction and materiality allows them to realign people, policies and practices of governance.
with Buchli, V. 2011. “Green Houses: Problem-solving, Ontology and the House”. In Designing for Zero Waste: Consumption, Technologies and the Built Environment (Eds) Steffen Lehmann and Robert Crocker. Earthspan: London.
2011. Review of Domestic Cultures: Issues in cultural and media studies by Joanne Hollows and Gay Suburban Narratives in American and British culture: Homecoming queens by Martin Dines and Women, Privicy and Modernity in Early Twenthieth Century British Writing by Wendy Gan. In Home Cultures Vol: 8 issue 3 pp 341-346.
2011. Review of Gender and Domestic Life by Tony Chapman and Women and the Making of Built Space in England 1870-1950 edited by Elizabeth Darling and Lesley Whitworth. In Home Cultures (forthcoming).
Academic Conference Papers
Green Roofs: Changing the urban environment, changing policy-making. Panel Presentation on Environmental Policy. American Anthropological Association 2012 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, USA.
The Only Way is Up: Green Roofs, Nature and the City. 1St International Conference on Urban Sustainability and Resilience. University College London. September 2012.
The Only Way is Up: Claiming Roofscapes, Utopia and Nature. Green City Promises. Annual Conference of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) Conference, University of Manchester. September 2012.
“Job with the Council - Job for Life?”: Strategies and networks at work. Presentation at Structure inside Organisations Workshop, UCL. July 2012.
Green Roofs: The materialization of nature and nature as a material. Panel Presentation. Anthropology In The World. Royal Anthropological Institute Annual Meeting, London. June 2012.
Up on the Roof: Roofscapes, Sustainability and Visibility. Centre for Home Studies. Geffrye Museum, London. November 2011.
Retro-fit, Future-fit: Enabling and resisting the sustainable future. Panel Presentation. American Anthropological Association 2011 Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.
Up On The Roof: Greening culture, greening people. 1st National Green Roof Student Conference, Sheffield, UK, 2011.
2012. Sustainability: Concepts and Materiality. UCL, London. (In conjunction with the Sustainability Reading and Research Group of the Anthropology Department and sponsored by the Environment Institute, UCL).
Panel Chair at 1St International Conference on Urban Sustainability and Resilience. University College London. September 2012.
Sustainability consultant on team Mastodon C, winner of the top prize for Best Hack and the Peoplefund.it award at the 2012 AMEE (http://www.amee.com/) London Green Hackathon. (http://london.greenhackathon.com/hacks/mastodon/)
Sustainability and Strategy Consultant. January 2012 – present
Consultancy and Research with The Urban Wild Project. June 2012 - present
Membership of Professional Bodies
- American Anthropological Association (AAA)
- Housing Studies Association (HSA)
- Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)
- Visual anthropology
- Utopian communities
- Contemporary social movements
- Urban food production
- Crafting & Creativity
- Applied anthropology and methodology
Ongoing Biography Blog: http://janedickson.wordpress.com/
And be sure to look up The Urban Wild Project, which is an exciting community greenroofing project, the first of its kind (we believe) anywhere in the UK: http://www.theurbanwildproject.org/
UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633