Shortlisted - Dr. Tracey Skillington
Making wild lives matter: Exploring the transformative potential of everyday encounters with wild urban nature and their contribution to eco-smart city living (ECO-CONNECT)
Dr. Tracey Skillington, Department of Sociology & Criminology, School of Society, Politics & Ethics
Impact: Local, National
This research explores how local representations of wildlife as culturally familiar symbols of shared city life offer a means of situating biodiversity and sustainable development imperatives firmly within everyday public reasoning and increasing receptivity to a climate action agenda. Wildlife moving through and around city spaces serve as an important bridging mechanism, bringing the facts of biodiversity loss together with everyday lived experience. It assesses the value of the city’s rich eco-cultural heritage to the wellbeing, identity and integration of its diverse communities, noting how this heritage can be creatively used as a tool to further an inclusive green agenda. This research is funded by the IRC New Foundations Programme & the Sunflower Charitable Foundation (December 2022- December 23).
ECO-CONNECT explores the reported physical wellbeing benefits derived from increased exposure to and engagement with healthy green spaces and also examines what respondents see as benefits to mental wellbeing of engaging regularly with the city’s green spaces (target 3.4). This research explores existing legislation and legal commitments to protect the city’s biodiversity (target 15.1) and examines in its exploration of communities ongoing efforts to protect and prevent the extinction of much-loved local species of wildlife (target 15.5). This research also focuses on how access to the city’s green spaces can be improved even further (wider knowledge dissemination through new digital technologies and co-cultural heritage mapping for future generations) (target 15.6).
- 3.4 - Reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health.
- 4.7 - Education for sustainable development and global citizenship.
- 15.1 - Conserve and restore terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.
- 15.5 - Protect biodiversity and natural habitats.
- 15.6 - Promote access to genetic resources and fair sharing of the benefits.
- 11.3 - Inclusive and sustainable urbanisation.
- 11.4 - Protect the world's cultural and natural heritage.
Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals